HAVANA – Singer and songwriter Francisco “Pancho” Cespedes, who has not taken the stage in Cuba for more than two decades, once again performed live for fans in his native land with a feeling of “indescribable emotion” and with the view that “life is opening up” on the island.
“I don’t make concessions on principles in my life for anything. If I’m singing here without making any concession on principles, something is changing,” Cespedes told Efe moments before taking the stage Saturday night at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater, where he offered a concert to kick off the 6th Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival.
In Cuba, “everything is opening up” and “getting straightened out” 56 years after the Revolution,” a time “of too many difficulties,” and Cespedes said that “there’s the thinking and a need that everything is moving forward,” the singer said.
“We’re confident about that. I, too, am on that same page,” the write of “Vida loca” said.
Cespedes is known for his personal style of interpreting boleros and ballads with a touch of jazz.
It was 24 years ago that he settled in Mexico, his “adoptive homeland,” but Cespedes, who was born in 1957 in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara, has visited Cuba a number of times since then.
However, the chance to sing once again in his homeland and before his countrymen is “a very special moment” and perhaps the key event of his life, Cespedes said.
The Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival will run until Oct. 12 in Havana and will feature the performances of more than 300 Cuban and foreign artists.