Founded in 1980, orchestras and soloists from Cuba and other countries get together to sing and dance in homage to a legend of Cuban music, admired by Cubans not only for his talent as singer, composer and bandleader, but also for his warmth, unpretentiousness and a touch of eccentricity: Beny Moré. The festival includes tours to Beny’s hometown, Santa Isabel de las Lajas, and to which he dedicated one of his most popular songs. Lectures and exhibitions also accompany the good music played by famous Cuban groups like Van Van, Paulo FG and Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, which turn Lajas and the nearby city of Cienfuegos into gigantic dancing floors.
Two cities that the exceptional singer Benny Moré sang to: Santa Isabel de las Lajas (Lajas, my beloved soil / town where I was born) and Cienfuegos (Cienfuegos is the city / I like the most) will be the venues of the Festival of the Arts, that is named after the beloved artist and is held every two years. The 19th Festival of the Arts Benny Moré, which is presided this year by the versatile and innovative Cuban musician Augusto Enríquez, will be the launch pad of a cycle that will end in 2019, on Benny Moré’s 100th birthday. This musician, who died in 1963, continues to be as popular as ever among every generation of Cubans thanks not only to his warm, well-pitched voice and accurate tuning, but above all for his charisma and identification with the people.
The organizing committee has emphasized their interest in attracting young people to this celebration, and will open spaces for rock, Afro-Cuban folklore, peasant, electronic and classical music, trova and jazz. This will be accompanied by other art manifestations such as theater, dance, visual arts and literature in projects designed by and for young people. Enhancing art for the people and leaving behind vulgarity seems to be the motto of this festival.
For more information: http://www.min.cult.cu/