Mariachi USA taking renowned music festival to Cuba

Posted: 04-Apr-16 13:19

The world's most distinguished mariachi music festival will soon be heading from Hollywood to Cuba. For more than two-and-a-half decades Mariachi USA has headlined its annual festival at the Hollywood Bowl. However, later this fall performers will be taking their festival across the ocean to the island nation for the first time.

Mariachi USA taking renowned music festival to Cuba

For decades the esteemed Mariachi USA festival has been a staple in Hollywood. For 27 years organisers have held the annual festival at the Hollywood Bowl, but this year planners say they will be taking the festival overseas, to entertain Cuban crowds for the first time.

In an article published on billboard.com, Mariachi USA founder and concert producer Rodri J. Rodriguez relays his enthusiasm and excitement about staging the festival in Cuba later this year.

“My driving passion has always been to return to Cuba to entertain my people, to do what I do best. I’m taking a version of what we’ve been presenting at the Hollywood Bowl for 27 years.”

According to writer Griselda Flores of billboard.com, coordinators plan to bring 25 musicians, singers and dancers to Cuba for a 9th October performance. The group plans to play at Teatro America, as well as host workshops while they’re in Cuba, involving local students and performers from 4-11th October.

With five full hours of entertainment, the iconic festival offers up performances from American and Mexican mariachi bands. It is currently the second-longest running show at the Hollywood Bowl.

In the article Rodriquez goes on to state,

“Our sole purpose is to entertain the people of Cuba in a unique cultural exchange, uniting the heritage of three countries. We are creating a labour of love, celebrating music and the spirit of humanity.”

Mariachi USA’s announcement comes as the latest in a string of performers and artists that have travelled to Cuba recently to play free concerts for locals. The legendary Rolling Stones took the stage on 25th March at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva, pushing back their concert by five days to accommodate the historic visit by President Obama.

Meanwhile, the electronic group Major Lazer entertained a Cuban crowd with a free concert earlier on in the same month, something that was previously extremely rare due to a more than half-a-century travel and trade embargo that prevented Americans from visiting Cuba. Authorised under the newly lifted restrictions Americans must still qualify for one of the dozen acceptable travel categories, including public performances and educational activities, which provides for musicians and entertainers to visit Cuba.


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