A Saturday Night of Unpredictable Turns

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — A friend of mine who is fairly well informed about concerts, parties, exhibitions and other cultural activities around town (these being his last vacations before becoming a working man) told me David D’OMNI would be holding a concert in Guanabacoa on Saturday, July 19.

My first thought had to do with how far this municipality is from where I live (Old Havana), so the idea didn’t seem too attractive at first.

But, though I didn’t know the musician, I am familiar with OMNI, a project made up of visual artists and poets with social commitments.

That is why I decided to take on the adventure of skirting the risks of distance and the return home on public transportation.

I didn’t know the exact location of the concert, so I met up with some friends at Havana’s Pabellon Cuba, who were going to the concert after another concert by Vanito Caballero, the renowned singer and composer from the band Habana Abierta, ended there.

The large group of friends who got on the bus headed to the Jewish Cemetary in Guanabacoa was starving, so the first thing we did when we arrived was look for a private food stand that was still open.

After listening to the woman at the stand lament not having had enough food to satisfy our voracious appetite and become all the “richer” for it, we left for the concert venue.

The venue was extremely informal. It was someone’s backyard. This struck me as appealing, not only because there was better ventilation all around but also because the atmosphere was one of a private jam among people who knew one another instead of something stuffy or conventional.

The Coco Solo Social Club, a six-member band, was the real star of the night, as David D’OMNI only accompanied them on two numbers.

It was fun for me to see the band perform the theme music of old shows such as Voltus V, Ulysses 31, Naruto and others that are well-known among different generations of Cubans.

The concert included performances by the musicians (who dressed up for different numbers), the handing out of condensed-milk sweets (in small quantities, of course) and the screening of animated films, homemade music videos and other materials.

There was a bit of everything: jokes, dancing, joy, mockery, social criticism, etc.

The way back home was long, as I’d anticipated, but it wasn’t that bad in the end.

I am glad I made my way to this peripheral area of Havana to enjoy a concert by daring and intelligent artists, to share memories, concerns and common stories with them.