The year 2020 in Havana, Cuba will get off to a funky start thanks to a historic concert event merging the sounds of New Orleans and the musical traditions of the island nation.
In January, Havana will host Tank and the Bangas and The Soul Rebels, who will share the stage with Cuban juggernaut Cimafunk, his native country’s artist of the year. The event is actually far more than a one-off show — “Getting Funky in Havana” is only the closing spectacle of a week of cultural events produced by Cuba Educational Travel, the Havana Jazz Festival and the Trombone Shorty Foundation.
“This unique exchange is heavily focused on supporting the Cuban people along with a group of young New Orleans musicians who will travel and perform with the bands,” say organizers. “The program will include access to all Havana Jazz Festival performances, the nightly Getting Funky in Havana concert series, daily jam sessions, as well as visits to local schools and community projects. Being a part of this memorable experience means making a difference in the lives of young Cuban and New Orleans musicians and using culture as a bridge between our two countries at a particularly acute moment in our histories.”
From January 14-18, 2020, Getting Funky in Havana will offer attendees a truly exceptional chance to experience the rich cultural history shared by New Orleans and Cuba, a relationship documented recently with Preservation Hall’s A Tuba to Cuba documentary film. Though there have been travel restrictions in the past, rest assured — “there are still dozens of daily flights to Havana on major US carriers from numerous US cities, and flying to Cuba, as with visiting Cuba in general, remains safe, easy and legal,” say organizers.
To read about Cimafunk’s relationship with New Orleans, read our recent feature on the “Cuban Invasion” in New Orleans happening this month. This Friday, November 8, The Soul Rebels will celebrate the release of their new album, with a guest appearance by Tarriona Ball of Tank and The Bangas.
For more information, click here.