Havana Cuba All-Stars

Caribbean Rhythms to a Pulsing Beat

Monday, October 17, 7:00PM

St. Johnsbury Academy Fuller Hall (1000 Main Street)

Direct from Havana, Cuba, in their debut North American tour!

Comprised of Cuba’s greatest and most prominent musicians, the Havana Cuba All-Stars band makes its debut tour of the United States with “Cuban Nights,” an electrifying program of music celebrating the extraordinary cultural legacy of Cuba. Drawing inspiration from traditional Cuban Son-a genre which later gave way to salsa-the program’s infectious “melodies and rhythms showcase the rich diversity of the Cuban people. The program will include classic and modern Cuban sounds by an eleven-member band playing various instruments like Spanish and steel guitars, bongos, cowbells, congas, trumpets, slide trombones, and others – plus vocals.

Tickets: $54, $42, $34, $26, $15 (students free) — click here to get your tickets now.

Strengthening Community Through the Transformative Power of the Performing Arts

It’s not every day that we can claim that a performance is historic, even though each moment when a community comes together creates a moment in our shared history.  Thinking of especially resonant moments of local performance, it’s probably fair to say that St. Johnsbury and Lyndonville appearances by Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, BB King, Merce Cunningham, and Stephane Grappelli during the 1980’s, were historic for the Kingdom.  These were legendary artists in their own time and their legacies endure.

St. Johnsbury photographer Robert Jenks has a photograph of Oliver Hardy (of the comic duo Laurel and Hardy) posing at the St. Johnsbury House for a 1930’s advertisement for the local Carey Brothers maple syrup producers.  And John Philip Sousa famously performed in St. Johnsbury-we’re not sure when.

Monday’s performance is historic for a different reason.  It’s because it would not have been possible even a year ago.  This evening’s concert by the Havana, Cuba All-Stars represents a unique moment of cultural exchange for these distinguished Cuban musicians who have traveled here for their first tour to the United States.

There is a long tradition of support for cultural exchange, even when political relationships are strained or broken.  During the height of the Cold War, it was important to see the Bolshoi Ballet coming to New York City.  And to have, after a ten-year silence, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, violinist Isaac Stern, and a Broadway production of Porgy and Bess break ground when they took the stage in Moscow.  Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy encouraged these exchanges, hoping to stimulate our collective curiosity and imagination-and to find paths toward peace through people-to-people contact.

Culture provides us with vehicles to tell the stories of our lives-and to connect with traditions, as Monday’s performers will demonstrate.  We’re pleased to welcome The Havana Cuba All-Stars.”

Jody Fried, series producer      Jay Craven, curator and co-producer