The work of Moises Simons, which is a Cuban popular icon, was the ideal closure for a vibrant show last night that featured the performances of renowned figures and bands from the island.
The first beats to impact the audience at the opening of the Arts of Cuba Festival, which will run until June 3, were those of Afro-Cuban music through the Yosvany Terry’s Quintet and his theme Laroko.
After that group, the outstanding pianists Aldo Lopez-Gavilan and Jorge Luis Pacheco ratified the virtuosity that has given them international fame with a mixture of creations such as ‘La Comparsa’, by Ernesto Lecuona; his version of ‘El manisero’; and another emblematic theme of all time, ‘Guantanamera’.
Lopez-Gavilan and Pacheco, who had already appeared on other occasions at the Kennedy Center, drew loud applause from an audience that later acclaimed guitarist Ali Arango for his execution of ‘Sonata III’, too. ‘La Toccata de Pasquini’, by Cuban composer Leo Brower.
Terry’s Quintet then returned at a jazz rhythm, and then the group accompanied singer Aymee Nuviola in her performance of the rumba ‘Bemba Colorá’.
Great emotion caused the arrival on stage of the Buena Vista Social Club’s Diva, Omara Portuondo, in whose voice vibrated two great songs of all time: ‘Twenty years’ and ‘Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps’.
The renowned singer joined Nuviola in ‘Tres Palabras’, before the performance of the Lyceum Mozartiano Orchestra of Havana, which won long ovations and achieved great empathy with the audience thanks to its Samba Son. The group closed with the final chords of the night, with ‘El manisero’. The band was joined by the rest of the artists who took part in the show.
In that way, the doors of a festival were opened where, in addition to music, dance, theater, film and plastic arts will come together, among other events.