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The Havana World Music Festival Returns to Cuba

The Havana World Music Festival Returns to Cuba

Posted by Leyden Figueredo on February 05, 2015

The Havana World Music Festival is slated to hold its second edition on February 6 – 7, at Havana’s Metropolitan Park, and it will be headed by Eme Alfonso, a soul-enthusiast young singer and songwriter that was born from one of the most remarkable families related to Cuban contemporary music.

The “hope of Latin music", as she is known, told the press that thanks to the support provided by the French Institute and France’s Embassy in Cuba, this year’s festival will count on the participation of numerous French and French-speaking musicians, as well as – once again – the collaboration of acclaimed Cuban and international artists.

On the other hand, the festival aims at representing a true platform for different musicians and artists, and this edition will stand as an opportunity to shed light on three collaboration projects between French-speaking and Cuban artists.

That will be the case of artist David Walters, a French multi-instrumentalist of Afro-Caribbean tones that is going to develop, within the framework of his We Play project, an artistic residency with a group of dancers from Cuba’s Higher Art Institute, as well as professionals from the audiovisual realm. During the festival, this DJ is scheduled to give a show that combines video, music and dance.

Afterwards, Moroccan singer Aziz Sahmaoui and his University of Gnawa group, which includes Senegalese bass player Alioune Wade, will be showcasing their universe that blends traditional Maghrebi music, rock and jazz, accompanied by prestigious Cuban musicians like keyboardist Harold Lopez-Nussa, percussionist Yaroldy Abreu and drummer Rodney Barreto.

Finally, the Havana World Music festival is going to put on the map another collaboration project, Women of the World, gathering on stage such stars as Eme Alfonso, singer Mélissa Laveaux (Canada-France), drummer Yissy Garcia (Cuba) and bass player Ellen Andrea Wang (Norway).

More outstanding artists are going to play important roles during the festival. That’s the case of Roberto Fonseca and his Latin jazz touch, and French – Cuban Raul Paz, who will share Latin pop titles from his latest album.

The public is also going to enjoy Mexican electro-folk group named Mexican Sound Institute, led by Camilo Lara, one of the benchmarks in terms of Latin alternative music, Cuban traditional music bass player Alain Perez, DJ Kike Wolf, author-songwriter-singer Tony Avila and one of Cuba’s most popular salsa musicians, Isaac Delgado.

“We want to give the young public new sonorities from different cultural horizons”, the young director of the festival said. “Furthermore, you can say that Cuba is one of the most representative countries when it comes to making this alternative music, out of commercial circuits. That’s why we want the Havana World Music festival to be a platform to spread this musical genre”, she pointed out.

Eme Alfonso made her debut in the world of art and music when she was very young and her talent went beyond borders, so she’s been labeled “a hope of Latin music". Mrs. Alfonso has had the opportunity to work with first-line artists in national and international stages, such as Fito Paez, Chucho Valdes, Silvio Rodriguez, Omara Portuondo and famous orchestra Cool and the Gang.

Eme Alfonso’s North American tour in 2011 dazzled different audiences, just like SOB´s in New York. Her latest album has been put out in several international festivals and Spain’s Sonorama Festival is an example.

In 2014 the singer’s career included performances in America and Europe, and her music is broadcasted by Canadian Galaxie radio station, NPR in the United States and Spain’s RNE.

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