Filtering by Tag: culture

Miami commission makes 'moral statement' against Cuban artists

Mayito Rivera

Mayito Rivera

The crowd at the Studio 60 Nightclub in Miami-Dade County's Allapattah neighborhood loved Afro-Cuban singer Mario "Mayito" Rivera's performance so much they threw dollar bills at him.  

Rivera, 53, and the members of the Los Van Van danced on the cash. It was a full house on the evening of Thursday, May 30, at the Latin nightclub at Northwest 36th Street and Northwest 23rd Avenue.

Miami commissioners want it to be the last time Cuban artists who have the support of the Cuban government can profit from performances in South Florida. 

"It is a mockery what these Cuban artists are doing when they come here," said Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes, who was born in Cuba. 

Reyes and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez introduced a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to allow local governments to prohibit businesses from hiring Cuban artists who do business with the Cuban government. Commissioners voted to pass it on Thursday. 

The commission wants the proposed ban to stay in place "until freedom of expression is restored for all Cubans and not just a few favored artists" -- including Rivera. 

Read more:

In Havana, a Look at Race & Racism in Cuban Art

Juan Roberto Diago, “Día de Reyes,” 2019 Courtesy Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana

Juan Roberto Diago, “Día de Reyes,” 2019
Courtesy Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana

By Cuban Art News

Unlike most historical surveys, the exhibition Nada Personal (Nothing Personal), begins in the present moment.

“Contemporary art,” says curator Roberto Cobas Amate, “is where the frictions between the races, the theme of racism, is most evident.” And racism, he adds, continues to be an unresolved problem.

With the title Nada Personal, says Cobas Amate, the curators wanted to point out that racism is generally not about a specific person. “It’s against the race, against the color of the skin,” Cobas Amate says.

In the Edificio Cubano of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the exhibition begins just outside the gallery, with Día de Reyes (2019), a large-scale painting by Juan Roberto Diago. “A current work,” says Cobas Amate, “in which he expresses his militant opposition to racism.”

Cobas Amate points out a phrase at the center of the canvas: Tu odio no me mata (Your hate does not kill me). At the upper right is another: Soy humano igual que tu (I am human, the same as you).

How I Made It: Michael Brun’s Haitian Block Party


By: Antonio Cereijido

DJ and producer Michael Brun says that Haiti is often portrayed as a “taking country”—meaning always receiving, never giving. That’s why he produced a song called “Bayo” which means “to give” or “giving it to them” in Haitian Creole. Brun said that he wanted to show people that, “Haiti has a lot to offer because culturally and historically it’s very rich.”

His tour is also titled “Bayo.” Along with a crew of other Haitian musicians, Brun is bringing a slice of Haitian culture and daily life to cities across the United States.

Brun got his first break as a DJ in the electric dance music circuit opening for Avicii when the Swedish EDM sensation visited Haiti over a decade ago and Brun was only a teenager. Since then, Brun has traveled the world performing at major festivals like Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival. He’s also produced music with notable artists including Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin.

Brun says he learned a lot about what goes into major EDM productions, but wanted to create a tour that felt more “organic and rootsy.” In this story, Brun tells Latino USA why knowing music history is crucial to create good music, how he envisioned his tour, and how Haitian music is deeply tied to music found across Latin America and Africa.

Read more @LatinoUSA