Havana Cultura Live (2010)

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Havana Cultura goes worldwide with Gilles Peterson

Back in 2006, infamous British acid jazz producer Gilles Peterson created what was originally an intimate summertime music event in southwest France. Peterson's initiative, named The Worldwide Festival, eventually grew over the years and divided into three annual musical gatherings in Sète, London and Singapore.

Last year, Havana Cultura asked Gilles Peterson to introduce some of today's best Cuban music to the world. In response, he came up with a double album in 2009 entitled "Gilles Peterson presents Havana Cultura - New Cuba Sound", which was recorded in the legendary Havana studio, Egrem. The disc foregrounds the rising stars of the Cuban music scene, such as piano player Roberto Fonseca, Danay, Ogguere and more than 15 other artists. Shortly after, a double remix album was also released.

With the help of Gilles Peterson's DJ skills on stage, the group showcased under the name of the Havana Cultura band, performing in festivals in June and July 2010, including the 5th edition of the Worldwide Festival. The Havana Cultura film crew was onboard and rolling that day, documenting this amazing mix of classic jazz, afro-Cuban and hip hop.

The result of that day's shoot has been captured in this short documentary, featuring artists' interviews and live sessions, giving you exclusive insight into Cuban musical heritage both old and new.

Riding the Wave of New Cuban Sounds

The new sounds coming from Havana have been hitting Europe's shores with all the force of a wave breaching the Malecón. To celebrate the release of the first Havana Cultura CD, and to give European audiences a taste of what he discovered in the Cuban capital, globetrotting London DJ and producer Gilles Peterson has brought a few of Cuba's best and brightest on tour with him. The "Havana Cultura Band" is what Gilles has been calling this first-of-a-kind road show. If audiences in Manchester, Leeds, London and Paris had been expecting Buena Vista Social Club, Danay, Ogguere, Kumar and a host of other young Cuban musicians were a thrilling surprise (not dissimilar to those Malecón waves). This was new Havana in the house.

To Gilles, the Paris show at the Elysée Montmartre concert hall November 26th was "a kind of opening and closing party", marking the launch of the CD and the last stop on the tour. The concert opened with an inspired set by DJ Rémy Kolpa Kopoul, a prime instigator of the "World Music" movement and a fixture on Radio Nova, which broadcasts Gilles Peterson's syndicated Worldwide show in France. The crowd got its first taste of young Havana as Kumar took to the stage and rapped over a horn-accented salsa backbeat. Danay asked the Paris crowd (in English) if they liked hip-hop but she didn't wait for an answer. She turned the question into an a cappella Cuban rap, with Edrey and Ulises from Ogguere backing her on "La revolución del cuerpo". The live show ended around 2 a.m. with a rousing version of Fela's "Roforofo Fight," but the evening wasn't over yet. Gilles Peterson himself stepped behind the turntables and nudged his Parisian audience in a more Latin-jazzy direction with "Irakere" by Chucho Valdés and other choice cuts from his vast vinyl collection.

Earlier in the evening Gilles had revealed to Radio Nova (broadcasting live from the venue) that he was intending to come back in 2010 with another Havana Cultura tour, and that he was hoping to bring pianist Roberto Fonseca with him the next time around.

  • 1 Roberto Fonseca
  • 2 Ogguere
  • 3 Danay Suárez
  • 4 Havana Cultura live
  • 5 Gilles Peterson
  • 6 Gilles Peterson
  • 7 Danay & Ogguere
  • 8 Danay Suárez & Roberto Fonseca
  • 9 Danay Suárez & Ogguere
  • 10 Danay Suárez & Roberto Fonseca
  • 11 Gilles Peterson
  • 12 Havana Cultura live
  • 13 Kumar & Danay Suárez
  • 14 Ogguere & Gilles Peterson
  • 15 Havana Cultura live
  • 16 Havana Cultura live
  • 17 Havana Cultura live
  • 18 Havana Cultura live
  • 19 Danay Suárez
  • 20 Danay Suárez
  • 21 Havana Cultura live
  • 22 Kumar & Danay Suárez
  • 23 Ogguere & Danay Suárez