Sergio Paneque

Sergio Paneque

Elito Reve: “I will die in Havana”

Elito Reve, one of the most important icons of the Cuban popular music, answered some questions for CubaSi with humbleness and grace.

He began playing the claves and then the piano in the orchestra. He still follows the path paved by his father Elio Reve as the leading musician of El Charangon. Here some of the answers of El Charangon’s director who after 60 years remains in the public’s preference.

Let’s begin with some history…

Orquesta Reve was founded in 1956 in Havana. My father came from Guantanamo and brought Changui —musical genre original from Guantanamo— with him. We are descendent from a French man who fell in love with a Cuban slave; thus, there you have the origin of my surname Reve, which means dream. Six generations of Cubans have danced with La Reve. Outstanding musicians like Juan Formell, Cesar Pupi Pedroso, Juan Carlos Alfonso, Yumuri, Vicente Rojas, and young singer-songwriter Emilio Frias “El Nino,” have been part of the orchestra.

How do you feel when you are regarded as a school for other stars in the Cuban musical arena?

We have been lucky to enjoy musicians such as Chucho Valdes, Ibrahim Ferrer, Enrique Alvarez…Being in the preference of the public has not been an easy goal after 61 years. We have created music since my father’s day. I have tried to continue the path. Several CDs have come to light since. Our work is reflected in all those generations that have danced with the orchestra. Our band still has its signature.

How much continuity and renewal can we see in La Reve?

Look, being in the elite is the hardest thing. There are orchestras that get a hit because they are made of good artists, singers, and they have talent. But being there in the public’s preference all the time is not easy at all. My father and I have achieved it. The orchestra still has good national and international preference despite new emerging genres.

I set a full drum work in the orchestra as I wanted to enrich the percussion work of the band. I initiated the use of a bass. A woman works with the orchestra as a singer for the first time. It is a strong band but you need to give a different show every day. I have made some changes for the sake of the group. We have made changui better, different, full of spirit; nonetheless, the musical concept of the orchestra remains the same…”

La Reve and Los Van Van joined forces and performed live at the Sports City in Havana to pay a special tribute. What can you tell us?

It was my idea. I talked to Samuelito and said: look, Elio Reve and Juan Formell have played an essential role in the musical history of our nation. And we must give this Cuban people and the world a live concert…It was named Dos leyendas juntas. The live concert DVD will be launched soon.

What can you tell us about your recently launched CD…?

“Yo me muero en La Habana” is a BIS MUSIC CD. Yomil y el Dani featured one song with us, with the special arrangement of Dagoberto Gonzalez Jr. and Cucurucho Valdes. It is a very beautiful album. It is online already. The song La cuchara has a video and will be premiere in the upcoming days.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz//CubaSi Translation Staff

British choreographer Lea Anderson will work with Contemporary Dance of Cuba

The company Danza Contemporánea de Cuba -DCC-, is working on a new project together with the British artistic director Lea Anderson.

Through social networks, the Cuban dance group expressed their enthusiasm for receiving the renowned choreographer with

According to the announcement, the artist will begin her work as part of the Cuban-British creative islands project, devised by DCC with the British Council Caribbean to promote and promote the passion for dance and artistic work of both nations

Founder of the renowned companies The Featherstonehaughs and The Cholmondeleys, Anderson is one of the most renowned and transgressive creators of the European country, which has n his list of more than 100 choreographies.

In his work he maintains an aesthetic line and a choreographic language that distinguish him in his presentations, always accompanied by live music and novel costume, stage and lighting designs.

His career has taken her to several international stages, from the most alternative places to renowned festivals such as Glastonbury.

She has also made presentations for television and film, and her work is study material in different levels of dance education in the United Kingdom.

  • Published in Culture

Canadians Nusbaum and Plantinga reach semifinals defeating Cuba

Canadians Aaron Nusbaum and Mike Plantinga upset top seeded Karell Peña and Dasiel Quesada of Cuba with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) victory to reach the men’s semifinals of the first stage of the 2018 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Mike Plantinga’s high blocks and Aaron Nusbaum’s effective defense took the Cuban pair by surprise, limiting their performance to a lower standard than usual.

Another surprise was Josué Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas of Mexico advancing into semifinals with a steady performance while beating Canada-B of Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) in quarterfinals. Gaxiola has earned one silver and two bronze NORCECA medals and Cardenas is a NORCECA newcomer; together they finished fifth last year at the FIVB U-21 World Championship.

United States-A of William Reid Priddy and Troy Field had to use all their energy to beat resilient Rubén Mora/Dany López of Nicaragua coming from behind 2-1 (25-27, 21-15, 15-11). Mora and López had a spectacular performance while Priddy and Field seemed to enjoy the challenge.

Eric Zaun and Edwin Ratledge of United States-B won their quarterfinal match with no problems  to young Dominicans Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo by 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

Plantinga/Nusbaum (CAN) will meet Gaxiola/Cardenas (MEX) in semfinals. The other semifinal features Priddy/Field against fellow countrymen Zaun/Ratledge.

Men’s semifinal matches are scheduled for 10:30 am (local time) and the gold medal match at 5:30 pm.

Men Results Saturday:

Pool-Play: Pool A: Karell Peña/ Dasiel Quesada (CUB) d Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo (DOM) 2-0 (21-13, 21-11); Pool B: Eric Zaun/Edwin Ratledge (USA-B) d Aaron Nusbaum/ Mike Plantinga (CAN-A) 2-1 (21-91, 15-21, 18-16); Pool C: Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky (CAN-B) d Luis García/Erick Garrido (GUA) 2-0 (21-19, 21-18); William Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-A) d Germán Osuna/Leonel Garza (MEX-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-11); Pool D: Josue Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas (MEX-A) d Rubén Mora/Dany López (NCA) 2-0 (21-15, 21-14); Yasutaka Sanay/Franky Hernández (MEX-C) d Jesse Parham/Casey Santamaria (CAY) 2-0 (21-9, 21-13); Loser’s Play-Off: Germán Osuna/Leonel Garza (MEX-B) d Yasutaka Sanay/Franky Hernández (MEX-C) 2-0 (18-21, 21-19, 16-14);  Luis García/Erick Garrido (GUA) d Jesse Parham/Casey Santamaria (CAY)  2-0 (21-7, 21-10); QF1: Aaron Nusbaum/ Mike Plantinga (CAN-A) d Karell Peña/ Dasiel Quesada (CUB) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15); QF2: Josue Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas (MEX-A) d Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky (CAN-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-18); QF3: William Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-A) d Rubén Mora/Dany López (NCA) 2-1 (25-27, 21-15, 15-11); QF4: Eric Zaun/Edwin Ratledge (USA-B) d  Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo (DOM) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

  • Published in Sports

“Mr. Hershey’s Cuba: A Sweet Venture in Sugar, 1916-1946”

Picture it. The year is 1916. Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey arrives in Cuba for vacation. He is entranced with the lush tropical island, and he finds the Cuban people simply charming. With sugar a predominant industry in Cuba—and a key ingredient to Hershey’s milk chocolate—Mr. Hershey sees the potential for building a business there around sugar. Within months, Milton Hershey purchases his first plantation and sugar mill, and quickly builds a railroad and a community, which he names Hershey, Cuba.

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“Mr. Hershey’s Cuba: A Sweet Venture in Sugar, 1916–1946,” is a new special exhibit, now open at The Hershey Story Museum, that tells the story of Mr. Hershey’s grand Cuban venture in sugar manufacturing, the model industrial town he created there and the admiration Mr. Hershey had for Cuba—and its people had for him, even decades after his death.

“Milton Hershey’s Cuban business venture in sugar manufacturing resulted in steady jobs, comfortable homes and modern conveniences for a large part of the Cuban community,” said Valerie Seiber, collections manager. “This exhibit takes a closer look at both the economic and personal impacts Mr. Hershey had on Cuba and its people.”

Visitors to the new special exhibit will be virtually transported to a tropical Hershey, Cuba, circa 1940, 14 years after Mr. Hershey created the town. Through artifacts, and vintage film and photos of Hershey, Cuba, visitors will discover how the town was different from other Cuban communities. They’ll learn about Mr. Hershey’s Cuban sugar enterprise and how sugarcane was grown, harvested, milled and turned into both raw and refined sugar. Families will enjoy trying out the interactive displays, which simulate phases of sugar manufacturing—from “cane to crystal. Kids will be able to:

  • Operate a filtration system,
  • Spin a centrifugal machine,
  • Place sugar samples under a video microscope, allowing children to marvel at various types of sugar crystal structures on a high-definition screen, and
  • Create their own model town using colorful building blocks.

Much like Hershey, Pennsylvania, the town of Hershey, Cuba consisted of a hotel, botanical garden, general store, sports club and employee housing, none of which existed prior to Milton Hershey’s arrival. In nearby Rosario, Mr. Hershey established a school for orphaned boys.

Milton Hershey’s influence on the island was so significant that he was awarded the “Grand Cross of the National Order of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes” by Cuba’s president in 1933. It was the highest honor Cuba could bestow upon a foreigner. Visitors will see the medal, sugar processing tools and equipment and Hershey’s sugar bags. Other artifacts include one of Mr. Hershey’s Cuban cigars, and his golf clubs. A uniform from the Hershey Sport Club baseball team also will be on display. The sport was popular in Cuba and Milton Hershey supported it by creating a baseball diamond for his employees.

Entry into the exhibit is included with admission to the Museum Experience.

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  • Published in Cuba
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