Pablo Menendez and Mezcla Jams

By Irina Echarry, Photos: Caridad

Pablo Menendez

HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 4 – We residents of Havana have another great option for enjoying the best of the island’s music.  “Todo mezclado” (Everything mixed) is the name and aim of music sessions organized by Pablo Menendez and the group Mezcla.

The sets take place the last Saturday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Casa de Cultura de Plaza, located at 8th Street and Calzada (one block north of Línea), in Havana’s Vedado district.

Leading the band since 1985, Menéndez has always looked for new sounds, therefore he fuses several genres: jazz, funk, rock, blues, and Cuban and Afro-Cuban music.

A lover of mixtures, his guest artists are people who make music without caring about the particular style they adopt.  At the opening of the last peña (jam session), El Adverzario appeared with a song about the importance of condoms, a rap that inspired the public’s applause.

The US hip hop group Junkyard Empire – accompanied by trombone, drums and bass – invited everyone attending “to sing against imperialism and to unite their voices for freedom and equality.”

According to the host, they represented good-hearted Americans who defied the blockade to come to Cuba and offer their art.

Likewise, Qba Libre, a band that contains Cuban youths who are attempting to fuse modern rhythms with other more classical ones, left the stage sizzling so that Mezcla could again make it theirs.

Famous numbers such as “Blues del apagón” (Blackout Blues), and other new ones, allowed the public to enjoy a synthesis of the evolution of the group.

The Cuban band Mezcla with Junkyard Empire (USA)

Every month we’ll have the opportunity to listen to Mezcla’s musical initiatives through them or their guests.

To confirm the holding of the “peña,” you can call the following numbers:  831-2023 or 833-8815

Click on the thumbnails to see all the photos in this gallery