Pretoria, Sep 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuba participated for the first time in South Africa’s Arts Alive Jazz Festival, with a performance of the Madre Tierra group led by young saxophonist Michael Herrera, who described the concert as magical.
Playing for almost 20,000 people gathered in a square in the city of Johannesburg, Herrera and his musicians shared the stage on Sunday with the most renowned and popular South African groups.
In statements to Prensa Latina, the saxophonist admitted they did not expect such a positive response from the large audience that comes every year to enjoy the good music of Arts Alive.
We brought a repertoire that defends the roots of Cuban music and the jazz we make on the island, as well as some contemporary sounds, noted Herrera, who is visiting South Africa for the second time.
In March, Herrera and Madre Tierra were invited to the Limpopo Marula Festival and offered several concerts in clubs in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Despite the success achieved on that occasion, Herrera said that ‘this time round has been different, we are better prepared to respond to what the South African public enjoys and this first concert was a great experience in terms of public reaction.’
He also pointed out that the music played worked perfectly and they were able to perform before an audience to which they were not accustomed.
The Cuban group will carry out a varied program over the coming days that includes, in addition to performances in Johannesburg and Pretoria, participation in radio and television programs, and in a workshop on Cuban music sponsored by the Morris Isaacson Center for Music, in the well-known town of Soweto.