Havana, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) With a tribute to Papo Angarica, a renowned percussionist and a rumba legend in Cuba, the 16th ''Guillermo Barreto in Memoriam'' International Drum Festival, scheduled until March 12th, begins here today.
Mella Theater will be stage for that who was the former director of Son Yoruba band and adviser of many folk groups in Cuba and Latin America, followed by a show dedicated to dance and drum.
Groups Nsila Cheche, Sintesis, and singers Luna Manzanares and Heidy Chapman, will accompany the performances of companies Salsa Mambo and Chachacha, Santiago Alfonso, Malpaso, JJ and Raices Profundas.
The international percussion competition for which almost 100 aspirants have been registered will also begin today at Sala Avenida theater.
In addition to these two stages, Mella Theater's Gardens, the Music Hall at the Havana neighborhood of Miramar, the Havana-based Salon Rosado de La Tropical, the scene of main dance music groups in Cuba, and El Elegante lounge at Riviera Hotel, will gather more than 1,500 dancers and musicians from half a dozen countries.
Cuban percussionist and president of the organizing committee, Giraldo Piloto, highlighted the performances by Americans Mark Guiliana and Will Calhoun, as well as Norwegians Per and Hans Mathisen, who will promote their most recent album in Havana.
The festival will also receive Memo Acevedo (Colombia), Jaquelene (Canada), Nanny Assis (United States) and Marcus Santos (Brazil), while serving as a point of reencounter for the members of Uruguayan band Candombe Fussion 2. Organized by the National Center for Popular Music, the program of the Drum Festival will include concerts, keynote speeches and percussion, rumba (as of 15 years) and casino dance competitions; the latter opened for the first time to all ages.