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Hot in Cuba - one-night only with CJ Ramone and more

This Friday-to-Sunday calendar of events taking place in Havana is our longest yet, covering a span that's slightly longer than a week with 10 days packed full of exciting concerts to attend, art exhibits to peruse and hot salsa joints to hit and party well into the early hours of the morning.

Hot in Cuba - one-night only with CJ Ramone and more

Here we are again, on the verge of yet another promising weekend in Havana's calendar of events. Starting tonight we keep you in the loop with the latest concerts to attend, where to find the best, latest art exhibitons and the best performances across all genres of musics and all performing arts - from ballet to contemporary dance and afro-Cuban dance; it's all here, ready to tickle your fancy. As always we place a strong focus on where to spend your evenings, how to liven up your afternoons and where to have the best time generally, regardless of music genre or type of event. There's something for everyone, tha'ts for sure!

Hottest thing on this week’s calendar – it’s on tonight!

One of the newest artists to emerge in the international Latin scene, Cuba’s Laritza Bacallao may be young in years but her musical trajectory is quite old – in fact she’s now celebrating her 20 years in music (and five with her band)! Not really surprising if you take into account the fact that she was born in a very musical family with a long history of music legends such as Ernesto Bacallao (her father) and Felo Bacallo (her grandfather and one of the members of the Orquesta Aragon – the one that made cha-cha-cha famous around the world).

Tonight, Friday 4th September Laritza Bacallao will be celebrating her career as a performing artist and presenting her new CD in one of Cuba’s most popular and largest theatres, the recently-refurbished Karl Marx. She’ll be treating fans to a full-blown concert that can also act as a great introduction to her music for those who don’t know her yet.

Also performing during this very special concert will be Candido Fabre and Juan Guillermo as honourable guests adding an extra dimension to the night. As part of her album presentation Laritza will be debuting some of the songs from her latest CD “Solo se vive una vez” for the first time. But beyond interpreting those she’ll also be including some of her most famous hits from the past, including the incredibly popular Suenan los tambores which put her firmly on the Latin American map of hottest artists of trends, but also some classic songs in English that have a special place in the singer’s heart.

So, for an all-Cuban night of 100% all-Cuban stars be there at 8:30 p.m. and don’t miss tonight’s hottest ticket for an unforgettable night out in Havana!

Hottest event of this weekend: Reggaeton with Los Desiguales

But what’s there to do this weekend you ask? This very weekend, believe it or not will see the only performance by a Cuban reggaeton (or Cubaton as the local version is called – yes, Cubans put their own spin to everything) to take place this weekend and it’s the first to ever be announced by us. Whether you’re a fan or reggaeton or not, this brings the perfect excuse to get an introduction to the Cuban version of it with the performance of a local band that’s been very much on trend over the last few years.

Of course, it’s not the same calibre as the now international stars (and Latin Grammy Award winners) Cuban reggaeton duo, Gente de Zona, but they do offer some good reggaeton tunes if you enjoy that kind of music.

See Los Desiguales perform at 10 p.m. this Saturday night, 5th Septemebr in Don Cangrejo, a popular Cuban restaurant that regularly stages live bands. It’s a place as famous for the food as it is for the crowds it attracts thanks to the live music performances frequently scheduled. Join in the locals for a reggaeton bump and grind session if you feel brave enough!

What the rest of the week brings

For salsa lovers

These are the best performances not to miss this week if salsa is what you seek:

Alexander Abreu y Habana d’Primera (you’ll do well to read this blog post in order to get better acquainted with this phenomenal band that’s won over thousands of Cuban hearts) will be performing at the Casa de la Musica de Miramar next Tuesday 8th September at 5 p.m. and again on Thursday 10th September at 11 p.m. at the very same place.

Jose Luis Cortes (El Tosco) y NG La Banda will be performing tonight at 11 p.m. at the Casa de la Musica but if this is too short notice for you to catch them then you’ll have another chance to do so next Wednesday 9th September also at 11 p.m. but in the Casa de la Musica in Centro Habana this time. If neither of those dates work for you there’s yet another opportunity to enjoy the delicious rhythmic beats of their music this coming Thursday 10th September at El Diablo Tun Tun, again at 11 p.m. (looks like they’re serious night owls in this legendary band).

But the very best and most special salsa performance of all is on at Delirio Habanero this coming Tuesday at 10 p.m. where salsa lovers will be treated to seriously juicy medley of salsa artists all coming together for one night only. Isaac Delgado, Alain, Isaac Delgado Jr., Maite Montele and Descarga Latina will all join up for a salsa night to remember.

For jazz jammers

There’s not much going on in Cuba’s jazz scene this week but what there you’ll find to be top quality indeed.

To start off Ruy Lopez-Nussa will be performing in Café Miramar tonight at 11 p.m. You could easily catch him after enjoying the previously mentioned concert by Laritza Bacallao and put a mellow finish to your Friday night in Havana.

If you can’t make it to see him tonight then you’ll have another jab at catching a quality Latin jazz performance tomorrow night as Cesar Lopez and Habana Ensemble join forces to perform at 10 p.m. this Saturday 5th September, again at Café Miramar.

Culture vultures

Arte en La Rampa, an art fair that has been open all throughout the summer will still be open during its last week at the Pabellon until it closes on 13th September so it’s the last chance to come here and view the series of exhibitions, the items on sale or partake in any of the daily activities with book presentations and shows for children on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

But as one event comes to an end another one starts to flourish as the new exhibition “Pintura Fresca II” (Fresh Paint) is presented as part of Habanarte 2015. This is a collective effort with the works of various artists including: Agustin Hernandez, Roldan Lauzan, Darwin Estacio, Antoine Mena and Frank Martinez. It will be on show in Galeria Habana until 11th October.

But the absolutely most special art event to attend this week takes place on Monday 7th September in Fototeca de Cuba, where two exhibitions will be launched at the same time: “Cuba – An unusual take on Cuba and the Cubans” (Cuba – Una mirada inusual de Cuba y los cubanos), from U.S. artist Lorne Resnick and the Salon de Fotografia Antigua, Fotografia de la Coleccion de Fototeca de Cuba (which roughly translates as: Antique photography, a collection by Fototeca de Cuba). Both will be on show from 5 p.m.

But there is an even more special treat for those appreciative of avant-garde arts, in this case by a Cuban group of contemporary dancers that will be staging a performance to remember. This Saturday and Sunday 5th and 6th September, Danza Abierta will be putting on a special performance with the presentation of their latest production: Malson. With exquisite choreography at the hands of Susana Pous and music by X Alfonso, this show looks very promising indeed.

The biggest surprise is left to the end – CJ Ramone comes to Cuba for the first time!

American punk rock is arriving to Cuba towards the end of next week and it will be at the hands of an ex-Ramones member, who will be staging a special performance as part of the Habanarte festival.

The singer and bassist who will be travelling to the island for the first time will perform next to drummer John Frochaux, from the Panamanian band, Lucy Fernandez and by guitarists Dave Soto and Dan Root from U.S. band, The Adolescents.

Concerts are scheduled for Saturday 12th September at the Maxim Rock and for the closing ceremony of the festival the next day (Sunday 13th) at the Casa del Alba Cultural.

Susana Corona

Susana Corona

The islands' go-between

Having lived most of my life between Cuba and the UK and being half-raised in both island nations, I...

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