Cuba Calls: Cultural Exchange
An alliance, building musical and cultural exchange in Cuba, is presenting itself. Working in partnership with Project Amor, projectporamor.com and the Yuval Ron Ensemble, yuvalronmusic.com , I will be participating as a researcher, musician and educator engaging in dialogue with local artists in Cuba.
I am raising money to fund this educational and spiritual journey. The tour begins on February 28, 2017 and lasts for one week. This fund raising will be quick as the funds are needed by December 28, 2016.
I am getting goose bumps writing about this opportunity. As a Puertoriccan, I have a strong connection to my rhythmic heritage. There is a saying about Cuba and Puerto Rico, “One bird with two wings.” Or “Un parajo con dos alas.” This wing wishes to integrate with the whole bird.
The opening up of Cuba will provide artistic alliances to be woven. Opportunities to share and thrive as a result of a cultural exchange of art, peace and love will enrich both countries and their people.
I will use my skills as a photographer and writer to document this experience. One of my goals is to develop a photographic essay and presentation of the journey which I will share with you at gatherings and conferences. And when I return to teach and facilitate rhythm circles, the cultural, musical impact will be felt, absolutely.
Cuba calls and she’s talking loudly. Thank you for your consideration in funding this journey. Blessings, Jenn.
The cultural exchange was mind-blowing. All the people, artists, musicians, young and old experience "el sabor" de la musica-the flavor of the music, "el sabor" de la vida-the flavor of life. This is how Raciel explained his concept of how he experiences music. Raciel is an afro-cuban drummer who plays conga with Frank London's Klezmer band. Klezmer with Afro-Cuban percussion?! Yep!
February 28th, an early morning flight from LAX, and we are flying direct into Havana. I'll be taking with me all of your hopes and dreams; the ones for you as well as the ones for me. And Cliff Bars, I'll be taking those too.
Oh, and the stuff to give out to the people: Toothbrushes and dental products, hair bows and various hair ties, combs, small toys, expando wash rags, drumsticks, art supplies, music paper, and handmade popsicle dolls (photo to come), and some OTC products.
Peace and Love,
This was significant news. I didn't know how to respond. National and international news sources have recorded variably mixed and passionate reactions. My mom is Puerto Rican. She has her own take on his life and death.
People rejoicing in the streets. The dictator who influenced their lives for decades, is dead. And others, mourning the revolutionary who freed the country from capitalistic clutch. Still others, indifferent.
Politics are not the focus of this cultural exchange, yet how can it not surface?
Artists represent the political culture, the socio-economic culture, the socio-spiritual culture.
We will enter into a country, whose membrane is raw again.
As an American, I wonder, if my country's decision may be a rift underlying my interactions.
How will I deal with the history? How will I respond to their stories? How will I respond to their art?
What will they need from me, as an artist, explorer, educator from an unrestricted world?