THE ENCORE CONCERT FOR CUBA IS LINKED FOR VIEWING HERE
This is a revised and edited version of the original concert and does not include the performances of Tom Morello, Michael Mc Donald and Dionne Warwick.
HotHouse thanks Bea Cabrera for her work creating the encore presentation
Additionally, we thank the many people who made donations to HotHouse which allow us to provide this viewing link for no cover charge. If you enjoy this work and want to support future endeavors like this please donate here
On July 18 and 19, 2020, cultural organizers from the US and Canada came together with the Instituto Cubano de la Musica (ICM) in Cuba to host a special virtual tribute recognizing the distinct contributions to the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. The concert salutes Cuba’s heroic and outsized contributions to health care around the world as doctors have volunteered this year to serve in more than 26 countries. These contributions have been in spite of severe depredations imposed by US sanctions under Trump and the ongoing blockade. For these sacrifices and more, many around the world are calling for the 2020 Nobel Prize to be bestowed upon Cuba.
The two-day cultural event feaatured the legendary talent nurtured on Cuban soil and recognized world-wide as virtuoso artists. Musicians located outside of Cuba influenced by numerous Afro-Cuban styles or who are playing in solidarity with the aims of the event also participated. The roster of talent amassed for this historic event signified the concert as one of music history’s most memorable gatherings.
Interspersed with the music, tributes by long-time friends of Cuba, other artists, politicians in the US, religious leaders, academics, and activists joined the program to make remarks and offer context to the program.
The program was exclusively broadcast via the Twitch.tv/HotHouseGlobal channel and LIVE from Havana’s Instituto Cubano de la Musica. More than 4 million people tuned in for the historic concert
The program has been presented for free without paywalls and all labor related to the program has been donated. We encourage you to support the participaing artists by visiting their website and purchasing CD’s or downloadable music.
- Cuban solidarity links
- Translations to English (Cuban Speakers)
- Dr. Jorge Fraga (Spanish Version)
- List of Musician Contacts for CDs, etc.
- Margaret Randall Translation
- Poem by Nancy Morejón
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH
ARTISTS AND PERFORMERS BIOS
(In order of appearance- program subject to change)
EL INSTITUTO CUBANO DE LA MÚSICA (ICM) / THE CUBAN INSTITUTE OF MUSIC
The Cuban Institute of Music (ICM) is a department within the Ministry of Culture of Cuba and is one of the most important cultural institutions of the country. It is tasked with the implementation of the policy of development, promotion, and projection of music inside and outside the island. It has a system of subordinate institutions, which house more than 16,000 artists throughout the country. Today it is the governing institution of the Music Development Programs, whose ultimate objective is to achieve a stronger affinity with culture in the Cuban people, applying a strategy aimed at stimulating, developing and implementing actions supporting musical institutions throughout the country. ICM produces a variety of shows in the country that ensure the development, protection, enrichment, defense, and promotion of the musical heritage of the nation.
MARGUERITE HORBERG AND THE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE AND EXHIBITION DBA HOTHOUSE
A nonprofit, arts presenting organization formed in 1987 in Chicago, IL HotHouse has been long the city’s principal venue for presentation of contemporary and traditional performance and art from throughout the African diaspora. HotHouse was one of a handful in the entire country to host Cuban artists during the years of the U.S. blockade from groups like Irakere to artists such as Chucho Valdez. In 2017, HotHouse was one of twelve organizations in the U.S. to receive a U.S. State Department grant via the Embassy in Havana to create the Chicago-Guantanamo Blues Exchange. In March, HotHouse developed an online streaming initiative to serve the NGO, small business, and cultural industries adversely affected during this health and economic crisis. The HotHouseGlobal Twitch channel facilitates a variety of multi-arts and community- based content and a worldwide network in the social justice and cultural sector. Since March more than 30,000 people have tuned in to HotHouseGlobal.
Raul is the principal at Cuza Talent Agency, a company based in Montreal, Canada specializing in World Music, with a very strong knowledge in Latin and African music. Mr. Cuza has been active in this music field for more than 20 years and has served as Programming Director of Festival Nuits d Afrique, co-owner of Eye For Talent Canada, President of Mango Music, and Vice President of GEM Latina.He has been responsible for the tour of artists like:Septeto Santiaguero, Adalberto Alvarez, Amparanoia, Azucar Negra, Los de Abajo, Paris Combo, Seckou Keita, Sierra Maestra, Qbanito, and OrquestaSensación.
Bill is an immigration attorney who has also produced and managed cultural events in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1973. A native San Franciscan, he is a graduate the University of San Francisco and Hastings College of the Law. He has worked in the Community Law Collective (’74-’79), New College of California School of Law (’79-’83) and the Volunteer Legal Services
Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco (’84-’93). In 1981, he co-founded the Encuentro del Canto Popular, a San Francisco-based Latin American music festival. His work with the Encuentro lead him to become one of the nation’s leading experts in U.S.- Cuba cultural exchanges and artists’ visas. He co-founded the Latino Entertainment Partners which produced historically significant concerts of Cuban artists
CATALINA MARIA JOHNSON – EMCEE
Catalina Maria Johnson, Ph.D. is a Chicago-based journalist. She hosts and produces her own radio show, Beat Latino, which airs in Chicago on Vocalo (Chicago Public Media). Catalina also contributes a weekly segment called Global Notes, on (Chicago Public Media’s Worldview). She is also a regular contributor to NPR Music, Bandcamp, Downbeat and other outlets).
Danny Glover is an American actor, film director, and political activist. He is known for his lead role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series. He also has leading roles in the films The Color Purple, the beloved To Sleep with Anger, Sorry to Bother You, and dozens of other films. He is an active supporter of various political causes.
ORBERT DAVIS’ CHICAGO JAZZ PHILHARMONIC
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic is a 55+ piece orchestra that composes and performs complex works locally, nationally, and internationally. Its distinctive sound, which combines the rapid, spontaneous, and improvisational rhythms of jazz with classical symphonic elements pushes the boundaries of both art forms.
On a trip to Cuba in 2014 Chicago Jazz Philharmonic was in Havana, rehearsing with student musicians, when news broke that the United States and Cuba would reestablish a formal relationship after more than 50 years. It was a special moment that the organization captured on film, leading to an appearance on 60 Minutes, a national TV news magazine. Shortly afterwards, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic brought 35 student musicians from Havana to the U.S. to perform with the orchestra at Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre, introducing another music style and spirit into its repertoire that will continue to influence the evolution of the orchestra and its musicians into the future.
David Soul is an American-British actor and singer. He is known for his role as Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the television series Starsky & Hutch. Soul is also starring in Greg Atkins’ documentary Cuban Soul, which focuses on the island state, its cars and Ernest Hemingway’s time there. This film will unravel the mystery of what happened to Hemingway’s renowned car, and will follow its restoration by Cuba’s underfunded yet resourceful and expert repairmen struggling against odds we can barely imagine.
CONGRESSMAN DANNY DAVIS
Daniel K. Davis is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative from Illinois’s 7th congressional district, elected in 1996. The district serves much of western Chicago, including the Loop. It also includes several of Chicago’s inner western suburbs, such as Bellwood, Oak Park, and River Forest
MARGARET RANDALL- Please see the program companion guide for Randall’s poem translated into English here
Margaret Randall is an American-born writer, photographer, activist and academic. Born in New York City, she lived for many years in Spain, Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and spent time in North Vietnam during the last months of the U.S. war in the country.
OSAIN DEL MONTE
Panter” Calderón, the long-time director of the Yoruba Andabo group, is a veritable prodigy of Afro-Cuban percussion. In 2012, he created his own group, Osain del Monte, bringing together the emerging generation of the young singers, dancers, and percussionists of Havana. They took the main stages of Havana to promote music emanating from the most “Afro” sacred rituals in the Cuban tradition (santeria, pablo, abacua, iyesa, rumba, columbia), and within a few months they became ambassadors of Afro-Cuban identity throughout the country. Spectators from around the world, including legends like Madonna and the Rolling Stones, crowded in to catch their incredible shows.
Ozomatli are an American six-piece band playing primarily Latin, hip hop, and rock music, formed in 1995 in Los Angeles. They are known both for their vocal activist viewpoints and their wide array of musical styles – including salsa, jazz, funk, reggae, rap, and others. The group formed in 1995 and has since released seven studio albums. The group is also known for advocating for farm-workers’ rights and immigration reform. The band has performed in various countries all over the world, including China, Tunisia, Jordan, and Burma. Although the band has had many member changes over the years and has sometimes had as many as ten members, the current six members have been in the band since its debut album.
James Counts Early retired from the Smithsonian Institution in March 2015 after thirty-one years of service in a multitude of positions. He served as assistant provost for educational and cultural programs, assistant secretary for education and public service, and interim director of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A long-time advocate for cultural diversity and equity issues in national and international cultural and educational institutions, his applied research explores participatory museology, cultural democracy statecraft policy, capitalist and socialist discourses in cultural policy, and Afro-Latin politics, history, and cultural democracy. He curated several Folklife Festival programs including South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation (1999) and Sacred Sounds: Belief and Society (1997). James Early holds a B.A. in Spanish from Morehouse College and completed graduate work (A.B.D.) in Latin American and Caribbean history, with a minor in African and African American history, at Howard University.
Alfredo Caxaj, is the founder of London’s Sunfest, a top tier global music festival that gives a serious shot in the arm to Southern Ontario every summer. Alfredo was born and raised in Guatemala, a homeland he was forced to flee in 1985 because of the civil war. He arrived in Canada as a political refugee because his family’s involvement in the struggle against the country’s US-imposed dictatorship had already cost him two brothers – and he knew he and his own family were at risk. They did not choose London. The Canadian government settled them there, and at first, they didn’t like it. “We didn’t come to a friendly city at all,” Alfredo recalled on the line from his Sunfest office. “London is considered one of the most conservative cities in Canada … It was very difficult … especially in the first five years, to overcome racism, discrimination, stuff like that.”Playing music became his therapy, he said.
Alicia Jrapko, from Oakland, California, is the U.S. coordinator of the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, previously International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5. She is also one of the 5 co-chairs of the National Network on Cuba (NNOC). In 2014 Alicia was awarded the Medal of Friendship from the Council of State of Cuba, the highest recognition that Cuba gives to foreigners in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution. She is also part of the Secretariat of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity and one of the co-editors of the North American Bureau of Resumen Latinoamericano.
Bush are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1992. Their current lineup consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Gavin Rossdale, lead guitarist Chris Traynor, bassist Corey Britz, and drummer Nik Hughes
Playing 41 instruments and a wide repertoire of folk, Afro-Latin and political music, Grupo Moncada has emerged as one of Cuba’s most exciting and versatile young music groups. Since their first appearance at the University of Havana on October 7, 1972, Moncada has toured throughout Cuba, traveling in troubadour tradition, using music to talk about revolutionary change.
Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music.
In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland. He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba.
Sintesis was one of the most popular bands in Cuba during the ’80s and ’90s. The band formed in 1976, after the vocal group Tema IV merged with several rock and Afro-Cuban musicians. They had a core of a traditional rock & roll band, but they added elements of African and Cuban music. During the ’80s, they slowly built up a reputation, performing with such artists as Amauri Perez, Silvio Rodrigues and Donata Poveda. By the latter half of the decade, they were staples of world music festivals in every country except America, where they were prevented from performing due to the US embargo against Cuba. In 1989, Sintestis released their first record Ancestros. Four years later, their second album, Ancestros II appeared. In 1997, they were finally allowed into the America, where they gave their first performance and recorded their third album Orishas, which was released late in the fall of that year. Yoruba Celebration followed in early 2000.
JAIME GARZA AND CAMILO RINCON
Jaime Garza and Camilo Rincon are Chicago musicians, part of a son jarocho global community. Son Jarocho is a centuries-old folk music tradition rooted in the southern state of Veracruz, Mexico – influenced by the fusion of African, Arabic-Spanish and indigenous music and poetry.
JUAN DE MARCOS GONZÁLEZ
Juan de Marcos González was born in the Pueblo Nuevo barrio of Havana to a musical family. His father, Marcos González Mauriz (d March 1990), was a vocalist who performed with prominent bandleader Arsenio Rodríguez. González became a key member of the Buena Vista Social Club, using his contacts in the Cuban music world to locate musicians. When Ry Cooder arrived in Havana for recording, González himself was working an “all star” album tribute to the golden era greats of Cuban music, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, featuring many of the same musicians who comprise the Buena Vista Social Club. Subsequently, González led the Afro-Cuban All Stars and Rubén González on their European and American tours, and directed the Buena Vista Social Club concerts in Amsterdam and at Carnegie Hall.
Tony is U.N. Liaison Officer and coordinates Treaty Council participation at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. He works with the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations to complete the Universal Declaration on the Rights & Principles of Indigenous Peoples – a document that will establish a standard for countries to co-exist with Indigenous Peoples. In 12 years at the Treaty Council he has Coordinated Community Outreach and Research & Documentation and been Director of Operations. He has met Gorbachev, Arafat, Nelson Mandela} and other world leaders to discuss Indigenous Sovereignty, environmental degradation, religious freedom, torture and political persecution. A current focus is a U.N. study on nation/state violations of Treaties. At the 1993 U.N. World Conference on Human Rights, he helped successfully lobby countries to call for an International Decade of Indigenous Peoples. He helps build unity between Indigenous people of all colors by emphasizing their shared history and common vision for the future. As a Vietnam combat veteran, Tony lived the horror of war and was inspired to work for human rights
Jorge Gómez is a Cuban musician and director of Grupo Moncada. He was also elected deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power at the constituent session of the new legislature in 2018.
OMARA PORTUONDO Y LA ORQUESTA FAILDE
Legendary Cuban vocalist Omara Portuondo is an international icon, singer and dancer. A founding member of the popular vocal group Cuarteto d’Aida, Portuondo has collaborated with many important Cuban musicians during her long career, including Julio Gutiérrez, Juanito Márquez and Chucho Valdés. Although primarily known for her rendition of boleros, she has recorded in a wide range of styles from jazz to son cubano. Since 1996 she has been part of the Buena Vista Social Club project, touring extensively and recording several albums with the ensemble. She won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Tropical Album in 2009 and a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, and she received three Grammy Award nominations.
Pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz – born in Santiago de Cuba, and resident of Brooklyn, NY – has been an active figure in the US progressive jazz and avant-garde scene for more than 15 years.
Named “one of the most creative and original composers in the world” (Lynn René Bayley, The Art Music Lounge), he has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films, incorporating influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation. Aruán consistently strives to break stylistic musical boundaries.
Tom Morello is living proof of the transformative power of rock’n’roll. As the co-founder of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage, and through collaborations with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Johnny Cash, he has continually pushed the limits of what one man can do with six strings. “I’ve been devoted both musically and as an activist to fighting injustice at every turn,” says Morello. “Amid this heightened sense of impending doom, it’s now time to rally the troops in a last-ditch effort to save the planet, and our artistic souls. By challenging the boundaries of what music is and has sounded like before, you can open peoples’ eyes to changing the status quo in society.”
Grammy Award Winner Oscar Hernández has long been considered one of the most gifted and prominent pianist/ arrangers on the contemporary Latin, Latin-jazz and salsa music scene.
Oscar Hernández is the leader of the world renowned Spanish Harlem Orchestra. With their four CD’s to date, Oscar and SHO, as they are commonly known, were nominated for a Grammy on their first CD “Un Gran Dia En El Barrio,” won the Grammy for their second CD release,” Across 110th Street” and nominated for their third CD “United We Swing”, and winning yet another Grammy with their 4th CD “Viva La Tradicion” Oscar was the music producer as well as pianist/arranger on all CD’s. Since the band’s inception in the year 2001, SHO has garnered numerous awards and world acclaim as one of the finest exponents of Salsa and Latin/Jazz music. Spanish Harlem Orchestra is generally considered one of the best Salsa orchestras today and one of the finest music ensembles in the world.
Pedrito Martinez is a Cuban percussionist, drummer, singer, dancer, bandleader, songwriter, composer, and educator. He was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He is a Cuban Conguero performing classic Cuban Rumbas, Afro-Cuban folkloric and religious music. He is a Santería priest.
Gail Walker is the Executive Director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO). Founded in 1967 by progressive church leaders and activists, IFCO’s purpose is to advance the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination by supporting creative domestic and international community organizing efforts aimed at fighting human and civil rights injustices –programs designed to improve people’s own communities.
In the United States IFCO has worked to provide support for grassroots community organizing projects in urban and rural regions across the country. (IFCO) has assisted hundreds of community organizations and public policy groups –by providing technical assistance, training organizers, making and administering grants, and using their global network of grassroots organizers, clergy, and other professionals to advance the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination.
In 1988, IFCO began delivering much needed humanitarian aid to various Latin American and Caribbean nations as a way of initiating an alternative people-to-people foreign policy agenda. Through the Pastors for Peace program IFCO has worked to bring awareness to the struggles in Chiapas, Mexico; Haiti; and other nations of Central America and the Caribbean.
JONTAY DARKO, MD
Jontay Darko, MD was born and raised in the city of Chicago. She has worked in the health care field for the last 17 years. Jontay has worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse, early childhood educator and Registered Nurse. In 2017, Jontay graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba and is currently a Family Medicine intern at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago.
Adalberto Álvarez is a Cuban pianist, director and composer. During the 1970s, Álvarez attended the National School of Arts in Havana. He started the Cuban band Son 14 in the 1970s and disbanded it in the 1980s. In 1984, Álvarez started the group Adalberto Alvarez y su Son, which he directs today.
CONGRESSMAN JESUS GARCIA
Jesús G. “Chuy” García is a Mexican-born American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 4th district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he served on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Illinois Senate, as well as Chicago City Council before his election to Congress.
EL SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO
El Septeto Santiaguero infuses an adventurous streak into the traditional son music of its native Santiago de Cuba. After honing their sound at the famous Casa de la Trova nightclub, they collaborated with salsa stars like José Alberto (“El Canario”) and Rubén Blades. The band won the Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Album in 2015 and was recently nominated for a 2019 Latin Grammy in the same category.
LOS VAN VAN
Los Van Van is one of the leading musical groups of post-revolutionary Cuba. It was founded in 1969 by bassist Juan Formell, who directed the band until his death in 2014.
RECORDED MUSIC IN INTRO/OUTRO
ERWIN HELFER – AFTER HOURS
Erwin Helfer, a Chicago boogie woogie innovator and master, has been forging his own piano music legacy. Erwin has been playing and performing for over forty years. His local gigs and frequent European tours have created a strong and loyal following in Chicago and overseas.
REGINALD ROBINSON –SWEET ENVY
Robinson was raised by working class parents in Chicago, for many years living in the Henry Horner Homes, a West Side housing project. His interest in older music started at home in 1984 with his older brother Marlando playing guitar and listening to big band jazz on Chuck Schaden’s old-time radio show. Robinson’s love for ragtime started in 1986, when he was in 7th grade. Trumpeter Orbert Davis visited his school with a jazz group called From Bach to Bebop through Urban Gateways. The group performed a variety of musical works, including Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”. Although he had heard it many times from the ice-cream trucks in his neighborhood, he had never considered it a serious piece of music. Robinson taught himself music. By 1987 his mother purchased a piano from a neighbor who was moving. He spent the next three years of his life submerged in the self study of music.
In 2004 Robinson nearly stopped playing the piano until learning that he had won the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius award”.