Music in Cuba!!
Tonight we went to hear music at a very cool venue, Rosalia de Castro. Located inside a building you would avoid in daylight, we walked into a large entry in an old, once-beautiful building on Egido Street, just on the edge of Old Havana. We climbed two wide flights of marble stairs to the showroom, an open air gallery built around a courtyard.
The place holds about 300 or so, and the band performs in one corner, with decent views for all. The cover of 30 CUC (1 CUC = US$.87) included 3 drinks; for 50 you get dinner. There seemed to be a collection of locals and tourists, many in large groups. None the less, it was the music we came to hear in Cuba, with about a dozen singers each taking their turn as they sang with wireless mic and walked the room. The house band appeared to be a bass, a few guitars, trumpet, and drums, and 3 male and 1 female sang back up, with the footwork. Maybe they don't have the power of the BVSC touring group, but they put on a great show with a number of familiar tunes. Buena Vista and more, it was a lot of fun.
Can we thank Ry Cooder enough for bringing this music back to the forefront? This is something that might have otherwise been lost, and it's one of Cuba's finest exports. Cooder should have been named the US ambassador to Cuba.
Happy to be here. Now and again I say quietly 'I can't believe I'm in Cuba'.