Latest News Archive 2011
Reception for American Jazz Musicians
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - Visiting jazz musicians, Arturo O'Farrill and his band, and Neil Leonard and the Berklee Quintet, were feted at a rousing reception held in their honor at the residence of Chief of Mission John Caulfield and Mrs. Nancy Caulfield. Both groups are in Havana to take part in the Havana International Jazz Festival.
Guests at the reception, who included notable Cuban musicians, foreign diplomats, and other jazz fans, were treated to performances by both groups. And as Cuban musicians rarely travel without their instruments, many of them later joined Arturo O'Farrill on stage for an electrifying jam session.
Arturo O'Farrill, son of the legendary Chico O'Farrill, last visited Cuba in December 2010, his first time returning to the island in many years. On that visit he joined USINT for a musical presentation of his father-son connections and the musical bridges between the United States and Cuba. O'Farrill also participated in the Havana International Jazz Festival.
Neil Leonard is a frequent visitor to Cuba, most notably in his capacity as a professor at the renowned Berklee School of Music. In 2010, Neil Leonard led a group from the Berklee School to Cuba to participate in an electro-acoustic workshop organized in conjunction with the National Laboratory for Electro-Acoustical Music (Laboratorio Nacional de Música Electroacústica, LNME) and the Superior Art Institute (Instituto Superior de Arte, ISA). His last visit to Cuba was in May 2011 when he participated in the International Cubadisco Festival (Feria Internacional Cubadisco).
In his welcome remarks, John Caulfield, Chief of Mission, spoke of the nature of jazz music, its origins in New Orleans in the early 20th century, and its ability to embrace new rhythms and cultures. He highlighted the influence of Cuban music and musicians on the genre, and expressed his hope for expanded collaborations between American and Cuban musicians.
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