On April 22-29, Cuba will host the festival of this event, which aims to establish cooperation between artists from the Caribbean country and the rest of the world.
Liz Arianna Bobadilla León
This year the Spanish duo Andy & Lucas will share the stage with Cuban artists such as Jorge Luis Robaina and his band Karamba, Nassiry Lugo and his band Moneda Dura, David Blanco, Adrian Berazaín and Jorgito Kamancola.
The 2019 edition of the festival will extend to provinces in the central and Western parts of the country with the aim to “broaden the cultural bridge and hold concerts in other cities where fusion music is popular”, explains Robaina, the festival’s organiser and featuring artist.
Performances will begin on 23 April at the Centro Santa Ana in Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, and then Cabaret Costa Sur, Cienfuegos, the Varadero amphitheatre in Matanzas, Centro El Sauce in Havana, and will close on Sunday 28 at the Cabaret Rumayor in Pinar del Rio.
For the Spanish singers, this represents an opportunity to continue promoting their latest album Nueva Vida, with which they have been touring around various countries in America and Europe.
The album marks a change for Andy & Lucas, not just personally with the birth of their respective children, but also in terms of the musical style and a fusion with other genres such as reggaetón.
For Lugo, he is returning to the Cuban stage after several years abroad, and will be performing his most recent collaboration with Karamba, the song Ay Lola, which is available on major musical platforms.
The event also aims to promote the latest album from Karamba, Desahogos, which includes the songs El burrito, Mi amor anda perdido por Madrid, Cómeme and El featuring con Lugo.
According to the event organiser, this time Robaina is moving away from the festival style and towards a more commercial show that serves as a platform for the artists involved to promote their latest work.
“We are putting on a very interactive performance in which we will sing together, share a stage interchangeably with the invited guests, and there will be a special moment for Andy & Lucas as their music is very popular in Cuba”, adds Robaina.
A bridge to Havana began a decade ago in the city of Zaragoza, with the aim of bringing rumba, flamenco, reggae, rock and roll, and hip hop into the same space.
The first three editions of the festival were held in Spain with the participation of Cuban musicians, and the event has since been held in Cuba, where it has gone beyond “a bridge to Havana” to reach several regions around the country and facilitate the positioning and recognition of Cuban music on an international level.
“There is a lot of influence from my life in Spain, where I spent more than a decade devoting myself to the market there. In that sense, I wanted to bring groups I have worked with at various events to the festival, along with others that are known among the Cuban public,” emphasises Robaina.
In its eighth year on the Caribbean island and thirteenth since its creation, the festival has had the participation of renowned musicians from other countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina, and plans to include artists from France in the future.
“I believe that Cuba is a window right now, that although it is not lucrative, it promotes visibility to the visiting groups from a musical and cultural viewpoint, and allows Cubans to perform on other stages,” said the leader of Karamba.
The festival is supported by EGREM (Empresa de Grabaciones y Ediciones Musicales), the agency Musicuba, the Institute of Cuban Music, Cuba’s Ministry of Culture, as well as other organisations that have joined the initiative. (PL)
(Translated by Lucy Daghorn)