Jazz, Rumba, Urban Music at Josone Varadero Festival

Havana, Jul 12 (Prensa Latina) Jazz, rumba and urban music mark today the beginning of the Josone Varadero Jazz & Salsa Festival, taking place at the famous Cuban resort until July 15.

Renowned foreign and national musicians will perform at the event that will be opened by young Cuban jazz player Alejandro Falcon.

The rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas will follow and, then, the XX Project band, led by percussionist Yisi Garcia, and renowned American trumpet player Nicholas Payton, who has a solid career.

The opening night will conclude with the performance of popular Cuban urban music duo Gente de Zona, with a recognized work in the genre, which sets standards worldwide thanks to its work with important international artists, such as Puerto Rican Marc Anthony and Italian Laura Paussini, among others.

The Josone Varadero Jazz & Salsa Festival also proposes the performances of salsa singers Gilberto Santa Rosa and Jose Alberto 'El Canario', and Salvadorean Alvaro Torres.

Also in the list are Isaac Delgado and his orchestra, El Septeto Santiaguero, pianists Ernan Lopez-Nussa and 'Cucurucho' Valdes, percussionist Horacio 'El Negro' Hernandez, folk groups Osain del Monte and Rumbata, and singer Dayme Arocena, considered a jazz revelation in the island, among others.

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Some in Miami, Gente de Zona, Laura Pausini and the "Dictatorship" of La Gozadera

Italian singer Laura Pausini next to the Cuban music group Gente de Zona, at a concert with venue in the Sport City, Havana, Cuba, on June 26th, 2018.

Many times culture in Miami has only served to encourage politics that keep alive that business best known as the "Anti-Cuban industry."

That the extreme right of Miami has always been divorced of culture is no secret. What else to expect from the descendants of the criminals of a dictatorship that fled - after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1st, 1959 -, an Island with 57% of illiteracy. No government of the misnamed "cup of gold" was never in charge of neither alphabetizing the people, neither of encouraging culture massively.

Therefore Batista’s sergeants and murderers didn't reach Miami to found schools neither favor arts. The first wave of defeated and their descendants who at present, in one way or another, are key personalities in that city of South Florida, have taken as their primary goal since then to profit from their fight against communism: the U.S. enemy during the Cold War.

Speaking about relationships with Cuba it was Miami’s culture, which for a long time, only served to encourage politics that keep alive that business best known as "Anti-Cuban industry". Hence traditionally in Miami have been burnt portraits of Cuban artists, bombs have been planted in stages, artists censored in the radio, musicians stoned and records smashed on the streets with steamrollers.

Such fascist positions were not completely absent in the last years when, under the most tolerant government of Obama the program of cultural exchange was established. The owners of the hatred business have never stopped politicizing "culture" especially in the media which dictate what can or cannot be said in that city.

Under the new "contract", the alleged defenders "freedom" and "democracy" even allowed that Cuban artists could come and go. They could even reside in that city provided they respected the "hurting" of a mythology of repressions, extermination camps and mass killings that only exist in their feverish heads.

The same "tolerance" reached a point that the top authorities of Miami could hand the City Keys to Gente de Zona "for their successes" and then just take it back because somebody, with different ideas to the prevailing approval, appeared enjoying in a video the music of that same group.

The last example on how "culture" works in Miami is the impact of the recent gig of Gente de Zona and Laura Pausini held over a week ago in Havana. The far-right wing of Miami is outraged because both the singer of Gente de Zona, Alexander Delgado, and the Italian singer Laura Pausini, thanked the presence of the Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in the concert.

According to El Nuevo Herald, Alexander Delgado, said at some point of his presentation in the Sport City of Havana: "I’d like to tell you something and I’d like to greet somebody special, I think it’s something very beautiful and I want you to know that we have here the presence, and I’d like to thank him for coming and share this moment with us, and especially with you, the people which is what we represent, a round of applause for our President Díaz-Canel who is here with us now. Thank you for being now in front of the people, next to the people, sharing with Gente de Zona."

I believe that Alexander’s last words were what hurt the most to the headstrong far-right of Miami, the thanking "for being at this time in front of the people, next to the people, sharing with Gente de Zona". And it must have hurt even more that the people - more 250 thousand people – who awaited stoically under the heavy rain that day for the concert to begin, the huge Gozadera (Joy) for more than two hours of Pausini and Gente de Zona, nothing less than next to their President.

Don’t be too surprised if at some point Alexander is accused in Miami for the hundreds of people who followed Díaz-Canel through the streets during his recent visit to Granma province.

The far-right wing is sick of failure. Hatred and rage are their only fuels. Hatred causes weariness and that doesn't stand happiness.

The anti-Cuban mafia of Miami is the first responsible for the blockade against the people that it presumably defend. They want a people burdened with needs, sad and bitter for that reason they cannot bear, on this side of the sea, the minimum spark of enjoyment, or what’s the same, any manifestation of the "dictatorship" of La Gozadera.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Cuban Music Continues Success with Gente de Zona

Havana, May 24 ( Prensa Latina) Cuban duo Gente de Zona surprises again today in social media with another of their usual featuring, this time with Italian trio Il Volo and the theme ''Noche sin día'', a preview of the summer concerts.

Members Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca anticipated during the past days the return of the group to the world market, after referring to some details of the new album with unpublished songs, which will be launched May 25.

Despite the surprising news about the collaboration of the three tenors with Gente de Zona, one of the most listened to Latin American groups of the moment, Michele Torpedine, manager of the trio anticipated Il Volo's new project will follow the path of pop and Latin sound.

'That trajectory will surely allow the group to enter the South American market, but we never reject any collaboration with renowned performers or groups, and Gente de Zona is currently doing a laudable job,' Torpedine said.

The new plate aims to conquer the countries where Il Volo (The Flight) is already established, their manager remarked.

The album, whose title and official launch date are unconfirmed, was recorded in Latin America.

Il Volo is planning several concerts in Italy in June. It is a vocal trio formed in 2009 by male singers and composed of baritone Gianluca Ginoble and tenors Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone.

The Italian trio makes an incursion into the classic crossover or lyrical pop genre. In 2015 they won the San Remo Song Festival and represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest of the same year, where they won third place.

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Cuba's Gente de Zona to Perform in Argentina

Cuban group Gente de Zona will take on stage of the Mandarine Park in Buenos Aires, during the Latinmol Urban Festival, where Puerto Rican artists Don Omar and Justin Quiles will also perform.

Even with the echoes of a super-concert given at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom will make the Argentineans dance, as some have arrived from other provinces of the country to attend the show, which will start at noon and will continue until 23:00 hours, local time.

Songs such as "La gozadera", "Traidora", "Que tu quieres" or "Algo contigo" will sound at the Mandarine Park, an outdoor stage in Punta Carrasco with capacity for about 15,000 people.

Justin Quiles, who sings ‘Esta noche' and ‘Orgullo', will open the show, along with Puerto Ricans Ken Y and J Alvarez.

Don Omar, one of the greatest exponents of reggaeton, will close the concert, where he will sing his most successful songs.

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Cuban Duo Gente de Zona Wins Latin Grammy Again

Havana, Nov 18 (Prensa Latina) Fans of the Cuban duo Gente de Zona today celebrated the win of a Latin Grammy Award for the album Visualizate, the fourth award they have received in recent years.

The group formed by Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom won the Grammy in the category of best tropical fusion album, a category in which they competed with Cali Flow Latino, Cosa Nuestra, Explosión Negra and Treo.

Cuba attended the 17th edition of the Latin Grammys with the popular dance music orchestra La Charanga Habanera, the National Septeto Ignacio Piñeiro, the singer Omara Portuondo, the maestro Leo Brouwer, the troba musician, Tony Ávila, the singer-songwriter Francisco Céspedes, El B and Jacob Forever.

The group recently recorded with Marc Anthony - declared Person of the Year at the awards - in the songs La Gozadera and Traidora, which have headed the charts for several weeks in several Latin American countries.

The Cuban duo emerged in 2000. They fuse reggaetón with other rhythms such as merengue and salsa. They have also collaborated with Pitbull, Juan Magán, Enrique Iglesias and Los del Río.

Visualize, is their third album and was the first recorded in the United States.

Recently, they were also awarded the Billboard at the Latin Music Awards.

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Latin Grammys: J.Lo, Marc Anthony recreate iconic duet, share a sweet kiss

The most anticipated surprise of the Latin Grammys ended with a sweet kiss.

Marc Anthony shared the stage with ex-wife Jennifer Lopez for a rendition of a passionate 1984 classic, “Olvidame y pega la vuelta.” When the heartfelt performance was over, the entranced fans joined in a chorus to ask for a kiss – and the couple obliged.

The rumor mill that JLo would be making a special appearance at the annual music award show started working overtime when a fellow musician from “Gente de Zona,” a reggaeton group from Cuba, shared a photo of him with Anthony and Lopez.

Lopez called her ex-husband a “living legend.”

“He has given us so many classical (songs) that will stay forever,” the singer said in Spanish.

“Even with our own journey, we have learned a lot, we have grown so much and you will always be many things in my life -- a soulmate, a father and someone I love.” Lopez and Anthony have two boys together.

“He’s not only the person of the year, he’s the person of all time," she said, alluding to the designation of Marc Anthony as the Latin Grammy “Person of the Year” the day before.

While Lopez and Anthony’s performance was definitely a highlight of the night, other bright parts included performances by Pharrell Williams and Rachel Platten, who teamed up with J Balvin and Diego Torres, respectively.

Williams and Balvin, who won his second Grammy for best urban album, performed their newest megahit “Safari” while Platten and Torres showcased a bilingual version of “Siempre Estare Ahi.”

“This shows that they are part of our culture and make it mainstream,” Balvin said backstage.

The night’s biggest winners included Carlos Vives, Fonseca, the late Juan Gabriel and newcomer Manuel Medrano with two awards each.

Juan Gabriel had never received a Latin Grammy Award during his lifetime, but on Thursday, he became a posthumous indisputable winner. A video tribute showed highlights from his decades onstage, and the presenters of the night's final prize called on the audience to "applaud for the master."

Gabriel died in August at age 66.

Carlos Vives, whose duet with Shakira “Bicicleta” took home Record of the Year and Song of the Year, actually forgot to thank his compatriot during both of his speeches.

Backstage he revealed that he had written down her name, her children’s names and even her partner’s, Gerard Pique, to thank them.

“I really thank her for galling in love with the song,” Vives said in Spanish.

Unlike 2015, politics did not take center stage, but it wasn’t far from many people’s minds.

When introducing Platten and Torres, co-host Roselyn Sanchez took a slight shot at President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial immigration proposal.

“There should never been barriers or walls that separate us,” she said in Spanish.

Brother-sister duo Jesse and Joy Huerta won their second Grammy for their album “Un besito mas” and dedicated their win to “all Latinos in the United States and all the minority communities.”

“There is a movement that is going and our message is to keep very united,” Joy Huerta said. “We are Mexican-American and I think our parents taught us to be anti-bullying and this is bullying to us, and we must use our microphone.”

“While people want to build walls, music builds bridges and love,” Jesse Huerta added.

The Latin Grammy Awards were presented at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and broadcast live on Univision.

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Cuban artists arrive in Las Vegas for Latin Grammy Awards

The delegation of Cuban musicians to attend today the 17th Latin Grammy Awards 2016 arrived yesterday in the city of Las Vegas, United States, reported the Cuban Music Institute (ICM by its Spanish acronym).

Accompanied by Marta Bonet, ICM vice president, and Ela Ramos, manager of Bis Music record label, the nominees attending this ceremony will represent the broad talent of the Caribbean nation, which each year makes its way in the international music industry.

The official list includes, this time, diverse Cuban groups like Charanga Habanera, Ignacio Piñeiro National Septet and Gente de Zona; as well as musicians Tony Ávila, Jacob Forever Omara Portuondo, Leo Brouwer and Francisco Céspedes,.

The latter three compete, respectively, in the categories of Best Latin Children´s Album, Best Classical Contemporary Composition and Best Singer-Songwriter Album.

The director David Calzado with his Charanga Habanera managed to be included in the category of Best Contemporary Tropical Album with the phonogram Vivito and coleando, under EGREM Record Label; while Ignacio Piñeiro National Septet will opt for the award for Best Traditional Tropical Album, with the CD El más grande y universal.

Tony Ávila, author of La Bala, song performed by singers Johnny Ventura and Gilberto Santa Rosa, competes for the prize in the category of Best Tropical Song.

The popular duet Gente de Zona will again appear on the list of nominees, this time competing for the Best Tropical Fusion Album with its phonogram Visualizate.

In addition, Hasta que se seque el malecon, a song composed and sung by Jacob Forever, will be present in the section of Best Urban Fusion/Performance.

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Cuban Artists Nominated for Latin American Music Awards

Popular duo Gente de Zona and Jacob Forever have been nominated for the 2016 Latin American Music Awards.

In this second edition of the contest, the awards ceremony of which will be held on October 6 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, the Cuban artists compete for the award in several categories. The duo composed of Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom in “Favorite Tropical Artist” and “Favorite Tropical Album,” with the CD Visualízate, and in “Favorite Tropical Song” with the hit La Gozadera a piece they share with Puerto Rican Marc Anthony.

Gente de Zona is part of the group of artists that will provide the music for the celebration along with other exponents of Latin music, including Jesse and Joy, Victor Manuelle, and Prince Royce.

For his part, Jacob Forever, an exponent of urban genre, competes in “New Artist of the Year” and “New Favorite Urban Artist,” as pointed out by the official website of the Awards.

The musician expressed on social networks his satisfaction for being among the artists who opt for these prizes. I'm happy with the news of the two nominations, he commented, thanks to Latin American Music Awards, my friends and my fans, said the author of the popular song Hasta que se seque el malecón.

Puerto Rican singer Linda Bell Viera "La India" and late singer Juan Gabriel, with the CD Intensamente, are also nominated for this edition. Recorded by the two artists, was nominated in “Favorite Tropical Album.”

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