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Welcome to the October Hip Hop & Rock’n’Roll issue of La Habana magazine.
Yes, there’s more to Cuban music than just salsa.
Hip hop beats first trickled into Cuba in the early 90s. Rap, Cuban-style, is now very much part of the island’s musical culture. In the early days it was met with a deal of resistance but was slowly embraced. Although the present-day movement is limited given a great lack of resources and venues, it is still pretty vibrant.
Rock‘n’roll, however, is thought by experts that it is not going through its best times right now. Yet, there are many rock bands active right now, not only in Havana but in provinces like Pinar del Río and Santa Clara, which both hold rock festivals.
So, we invite the reader to learn about these genres in Cuba through the articles we have put together in this issue and discover how hip hop and rock are both alive and kicking.
There is no shortage of events in October. For the first time in Cuba, the Countertenors of the World Festival will be held through October 9. Get ready to enjoy the unique voices of singers from 11 different countries, and several world premieres. In a similar vein, the Festival Mozart-Habana 2016 is a must for classical music lovers. And last but surely not least, the 25th International Havana Ballet Festival will open on October 28 and will continue through November 6.
If by any chance you are in the eastern part of Cuba, we recommend you take a trip to the city of Bayamo for the Fiesta de la Cubanía, art and culture in a festival that contributes to a reunion with the roots of the nation (October 17-20) and the Fiesta de la Cultura Iberoamericana, an event that seeks to recover and promote the Spanish roots and background of the Ibero-American nations (October 24-30).
Back in Havana,
We especially wish to recommend the Cuerda Viva Grand Concert of Alternative (Teatro Nacional, Sala Avellaneda, October 8, 11pm), and when that has ended, grab a cab and rush down to Fábrica de Arte for Mozart Classical Rave with DJ producer Iván Lejardi (October 8), which promises to be an interesting experience.
And in other news, read about Savior, the first Cuban indie videogame by visual artist Josuhe Pagliery and programmer Johann Armenteros.
Abrazos! The LaHabana.com Team
In this Issue
Rap Cubano: The Birth of a Cuban Movement
The New Cuba Mix
Alejandro Zamora: A Cuban Hip-Hop Historian
Despite changes, Cuba’s Hip Hop Obesión stays strong
Guámpara Music: Feet planted in Santiago de Cuba but eyes on the continent
The Best Cuban Rock Songs
The World without Patio de María
What’s happening today in Cuban Rock Music
On the spotlight: Michel Hernández
UNDER THE HOOD: a Fender Twin Reverb in Havana
Savior: a leap of faith
Cuba Beyond the Beach: Stories of Life in Havana