Buena Vista Social Club to Perform at the White House

buena-vista-social-clubHAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The “Buena Vista Social Club” will perform this Thursday at a Hispanic gala at the White House with President Barack Obama. The performance “is the first of a Cuban band at the White House for more than 50 years,” said a government spokesman.

Obama will deliver a speech at the reception to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

The performance of the famous band occurs amid the process of thaw between the US and Cuba. In July the two countries resumed diplomatic relations after more than half a century of ideological confrontation.

The Buena Vista Social Club existed in Cuba since the 1940s up until the early 60s and served as a meeting place for musicians. In its heyday it helped the development of traditional styles of Afro-Cuban music such as son, bolero, guajira and salsa.

In the 90s, nearly half a century after it was closed after the triumph of the Revolution, the club inspired a disk by Cuban musician Juan de Marcos González and American guitarist Ry Cooder with other musicians from the island.

The German film director Wim Wenders in 1999 recorded a documentary (“Buena Vista Social Club”) with the group of musicians, which included a concert in New York as well as interviews with the protagonists. The film was nominated for an Oscar as best documentary feature.

2 thoughts on “Buena Vista Social Club to Perform at the White House

  • A little research for those unaware but Ry Cooder brought this band out of obscurity and the depths of poverty enabling them to get to where they are today. Another prime example on how a milliliter of freedom or personal initiative can work miracles. Sad how the regime will now use these fine musicians to forward their propaganda but it won’t work. To the Elio’s and now the poster boy for Communism, Elian Gonzalez shame on you and especially Mr. Gonzalez for referring to Fidel Castro as his god! Personal freedom my two Castro sympathizes is what enables Cuba to receive billions of dollars from the US to prop up your economy and enable you to live another day without starving.

  • The new show on telemundo, Celia Cruz, brings to mind that her music, to this very day, is frowned upon by the Cuban regime. I’m sure the regime supporters will have lots of excuses for this

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