Cuban culture: The good music of La Academia turns 10 years old

Drummer Ruy López-Nussa and his group La Academia are turning 10 years old on stages, which they wish to celebrate with performances in theaters, a tour of art schools and a greater impact on the media.

La Academia cultivates Cuban genres with winks at many from other latitudes, without aspiring to please mass tastes. Its musicians are deeply interested in rigor and more inspired by the musical inheritance of the universe than by radio and television producers.

The price they pay is high: they do not appear on the media regularly. However, they have a passionate public that follows them, composed of music students and professionals who enjoy what the ordinary public usually do not discover during a concert. López-Nussa and La Academia are not interested in the very high artistic concessions that achieving better diffusion on the media would demand.

The outstanding drummer is the younger brother of Hernán López-Nussa, one of the greatest Cuban pianists, and father of Harold and Ruy Adrián, talented pianist and drummer, respectively. The family’s trunk was painter and journalist Leonel López-Nussa.

From a very Cuban version of “No woman no cry”, Bob Marley’s classic, own compositions such as “Descargando” and “Sahara”, to recreations of “El cumbanchero” and “El bodeguero”, by Rafael Hernández and Richar Egües, La Academia cultivates it all, with something that allows an artist to reach half the way when he/she achieves it: the stamp.

With a roster marked by trumpeters Roberto García, musical director and composer, and Maikel González, and percussionist Octavio Rodríguez, La Academia has recorded five albums with Colibrí record label and none has hit the market. “The greatest prize at the age of 10 of the group would be to see at least one of the five albums, we have faith that this would be the case”, states Ruy, while talking to CubaSí at the study of his apartment, in Havana’s El Vedado neighborhood.

One of those albums features Jamaican-born Canadian singer Paul Everton, a group of pieces that include reverences to Bob Marley.

While it celebrates its 10 years of career, La Academia tries to overcome all bureaucratic obstacles and apathy it finds on its way, driven by the encouragement of music and the incentive to be able to reach more public in Cuba, to leave them a mark of good music.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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