As relations between Cuba and the U.S. thaw, the United States is belatedly discovering that Havana is and has always been one of the world’s great music capitals. Cuban musicians, meanwhile, have a personal stake in this new development, and they’re hopeful that things will continue to improve.
In this Billboard exclusive video filmed in March, photographer/videographer Edel Rodríguez* goes behind the scenes at some of the city’s musical hot spots (some of them on the street), and talks to a few of the many leaders in the big world of Cuban music. Trumpeter/bandleader Alexander Abreu of Havana D’Primera, Samuel Fornell of Los Van Van and other artists discuss the challenges of Cuban artists getting their music out to the rest of the world and their hope for the future.
Watch above as Billboard steps inside the worlds of the artists making waves in timba, jazz, reggaeton and traditional Cuban music and investigates what it means for them now that the nation is poised for a new era.
Ned Sublette, Billboard
July 02, 2015