CUBA 50 Celebrating Cuban Culture  /  May 2018

All the latest cultural news from Cuba and events coming up around the UK


Artes de Cuba 

"It will show the humanity and beauty of Cuban arts, and the wealth of the Caribbean island in terms of its people and culture" said Alicia Adams, curator of the Artes de Cuba festival which has brought together 400 artists and musicians from Cuba and the diaspora in Washington DC this month.


National Design Awards announced 

The full collection of Pablo Milanés, a chair that adapts to the space it is in and a mobile surgery bus were some of the winners in the National Design Awards this week in Cuba, following Design week which aims to raise the quality especially of Visual Communication and Industrial design.


"Art is still extending the hand of peace"

"Well we are still is still extending the hand of peace" Cuban artist Roberto Diago on Cuba-US relations, despite having to go to Mexico to get his US visa to participate in Artes de Cuba festival in Washington DC .


"Dance erases borders"

"In your body you carry the dances that will save you…dance…erases the borders between bodies and nations." Cuban dancer,teacher and choreographer Marianela Boan was invited to give a message to the Americas for International Dance Day on 29 April.It is a beautiful tribute to dance.


Cubans celebrate Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Under the motto of "Me incluyo" (I include myself), activities have been focused on raising awareness in schools and educational institutions of discrimination against the LGBTI community, working both with teachers and students. 


Video: Artist Manuel Mendive at work

For the Artes de Cuba festival in the US, top artist Manuel Mendive was commissioned to create new work: ‘Nature, Spirit and Man’. Mendive works across media (painting, sculpture, performance) making art to show how African heritage has shaped Cuba’s national identity and culture.  Watch Mendive talk about his work for the festival with English subtitles.


Cuban coffee - ground or beans

Try 100% Cuban coffee, beans or ground, direct from the Escambray mountains in central Cuba.
Strong high quality coffee with very low acidity. 




Vote for Cuban artists in the UK in the LUKAS awards by 12 June

Congratulations to all the Cuban artists and others dedicated to exploring and developing Cuban music and dance nominated in the Latin UK LUKAS awards this summer! You can vote for your favourites this year - including Ariwo, London Lucumi Choir, Omar Puente, Gerardo de Armas, Yelfris Valdez, Hammadi Valdes, Oreste Noda, Rene Alvarez, Jimmy Hernandez, Eliane Correa, Sara McGuinness, Cuban Combination, Wara, Latin Bridge, Acosta Danza, Vamos Cuba, Yanet Fuentes, Leandro Charanga and more.


Viva Cuba!  every Friday til 29 June, London

New season, every Friday night, of live Cuban bands at Ronnie Scotts Club from 8pm.  1 June:  Jesus Cutino and his band.


Ran Kan Kan: Havana Rumba
Sat 9 June, Oxford

Gerardo y su Rumbache will be playing authentic Cuban rumba, Cuban dancer Ariel Rios will lead a class and 24 piece Oxford based band Ran Kan Kan will perform Cuban big band style.


La ClaveFest Latin Music festival, Sat 9 June, London

From midday til 10pm enjoy this great free festival on the South Bank in central London, with live Latin bands, including Omar Puente Sextet, El Pidio y su Alegria and dance sessions with Havana Londres and much more.


Garden Party for Cuba, Wed 13 June, London

RMT's annual party for Cuba with Cuban jazz violinist Omar Puente and Raices Cubanas performing plus bar and buffet. 


CineCuba screening: Conducta, Mon 25 June, London

2014 feature film by Cuban director Ernesto Daranas, hugely popular with audiences and critics in Cuba. A troubled boy who cares for his addict mother, is sent away from his school and his sympathetic teacher campaigns to stop it.


WARA gigs at festivals
7 July - 5 August, England

Led by supertalented Eliane Correa and influenced by the fieriest of contemporary Havana grooves and mobilized by the dynamic sounds of London's underground, Wara's pan-Latin musical pioneers have crafted a hard-hitting and contagious style. Catch them this summer!


Cubana Clásica - A Night at the Opera in Havana, Wed 18 July, London

One of Cuba's most brilliant young concert pianists, Marcos Madrigal, with jazz virtuoso Omar Puente and opera singer Ann Liebeck perform music by Ernesto Lecuona, Cuba's answer to George Gershwin and contemporary Cuban composers Omar Puente, the LUKAS award winner 2016, and Guido López-Gavilán and more.


Carlos Acosta: A Celebration - 30 Years in Dance
2-5 October, London

Carlos Acosta is set to perform with a  full company of dancers a selection of favourite and specially commissioned pieces in a wonderful programme marking his thirty years as a dancer. 4 performances only.


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