Critical Cuban Musician Plays Again

Roberto Carcasses

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban jazz musician Roberto Carcasses, punished a week before for asking the authorities for free access to information and a direct vote for president during a televised public event, returned Friday to perform on a Havana stage.

Carcasses, bandleader of Interactivo, played the piano as a guest at a Silvio Rodriguez concert before about 400 people in the town of Santiago de las Vegas, on the outskirts of Havana .

It was the first presentation of the pianist and vocalist, after he made known this week that he had been “suspended” indefinitely by the authorities of the Ministry of Culture over his improvised lyrics at a concert for the Cuban Five on Sept. 12.

Carcasses said the incident appears to be resolved. “I hope so,” he said shortly after getting off the stage. A few days ago he said the authorities had announced a lifting of the punishment.

On Saturday, Carcasses, 41, will perform at Miramar Jazz Café.

Folk singer Silvio Rodriguez, who had criticized the authorities reaction to Carcasses’s lyrics at the Cuban Five concert, presented him on Friday as a “friend” and a “talent” to the audience.

Despite being a known supporter of the Cuban Revolution, the famous troubadour on Tuesday condemned the punishment levied on Carcasses as an “act of repression.”  The author of “I wish” then defied the short-lived ban on Carcasses, inviting him to play at one of his free concerts he holds in Havana neighborhoods.

Before the Cuban cultural authorities changed their mind on punishing Carcasses, strong support for him came from the popular hip hop duo Calle 13 from Puerto Rico, considered supporters of the Cuban revolution but who publicly defended Carcasses’s right to express his views.

Robertico, as he is known in the Cuban music world, had surprised some concert goers and TV viewers when he advocated “free access to information” and requested the president be elected “by direct vote” before a huge audience Havana’s Anti-imperialist Plaza.

Carcasses, very popular among the young of Havana, made ??his criticism during a multi-band concert in front of the US Interests Section to demand the release of four Cuban intelligence agents imprisoned in the USA.

3 thoughts on “Critical Cuban Musician Plays Again

  • Ok, let’s measure. Who got the rawer deal – Carcasses or Victor Jara. Never see VJ mentioned much, (along w/ a slew of others) by those bemoaning the lack of artistic freedom in Cuba. Not that some criticism is not warranted. But come on, let’s put it in perspective.

  • It is truly a measure of just how oppressive Cuba is that such bland innocuous lyrics from a jazz musician have created such a stir across the country.

  • VIA
    FACEBOOK PAGE OF Interactivo Interactivo shared a status: Por fa, pasen la info
    pues aun la sancion no ha sido revocada para la radio y la TV y tampoco me pasan
    los mensajes telefonicos.

    Please, pass the info for the sanction has not been revoked
    for radio and TV and I do not get phone messages.

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