Dayme hot in California

One of the things that made last summer so great, was every week or two you could easily catch Jane Bunnett and her group Maqueque in Toronto and area.

Jane Bunnett is of course from Tdayme_nueva_eraoronto, and well known in jazz circles everywhere.  And among the established jazz influencers, she has proved far and away the most absorbed and respectful of the work of Cuban musicians.

She has helped numerous Cubans initiate their musical careers outside Cuba, including some  younger ones like David Virelles, Telmary Diaz, and lately the members of Maqueque.  All the young Cubanas making up the band are exceptional and cool musicians, but one you will definitely remember is the pint-size singer Daymé Arocena, with the upsized voice.

She turns up lately with 2 backup musicians doing a swing through California, read about it on

Joaquin Nuñez, Don Naduriax at Hirut Resto

There’s a new restaurant that hires great local musicians… well new to me: Hirut Ethiopan, located Danforth at Woodbine (2050 Danforth).  So I must say, the reviews have been excellent and we need to have a look-see in there.

Here’s where you will find one of Toronto’s finer Cuban musicians who often plays behind well-known names and gives the evening an authentic Cubania with faultless jazz sensibility…  Joaquin Nuñez.  Playing on this night with Don Naduriax.

WHEN:   Friday,March 11st          8pm

Photo was at International Drumming Festival:

David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana – Tour Send-off

David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana - Tour Send-off!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Odessa/Havana presents “dazzlingly tuneful music” that is “passionate, dancing and irresistible”! Trumpeter David Buchbinder, pianist Hilario Durán, embark on a journey of cross-cultural discovery, kicking off a North American tour.
Tonight: featuring  Joaquin Nunez on percussion!

“A dazzling display of what world music has to offer!”
Critical Jazz

“****1/2”  (=four and a half stars)

JUNO Award! 
Canadian Folk Music Award!

Advance Tickets: Soundscapes

572 College St, 416 537-1620

Dinner Menu

Led by Chef Trevor Viirre, Lula’s culinary team has created a distinctive menu that like Lula itself, is decidedly international with a Latin soul that shines through in everything we do. Check out Lula’s new tropical fusion menu.

Hilario Duran – Fund raiser Miles Nadal JCC

red hot rod car

Monday February 29
8:00 pm

$50 General Public Tickets

Put on your best linen suit and fedora, grab a Cohiba and come and enjoy the pulsing rhythms of Cuban jazz in the Al Green Theatre. Join the community for a fun and entertaining evening as Havana Nights transforms the corner of Bloor and Spadina from a winter wonderland into a hot and tropical paradise.

The evening will feature the Hilario Durán Quartet, one of the world’s most innovative creators of Afro-Cuban music & Latin Jazz, with special guest Adis Rodriguez, and a post-concert reception for patrons and sponsors.  And, featuring  Joaquin Nunez on percussion!
pdfThis registration form outlines the levels of sponsorship available and benefits for $1,000, $1,800, $3,600 and $5,000 including patron level tickets at $150 and $250 each.

For sponsorship opportunities in support of the MNjcc’s music programs, and benefits including the post-concert reception, please contact Allyson Smith at (416) 924-6211 x328.

$50 General Public tickets available through the UofTTix Box Office; (416) 978-8849.

Give the gift of music and enjoy a tremendous evening in support of the MNjcc.

Meanwhile, at Lula Lounge…

A reminder for fans of Cuban music and musicians…

Havana Club Fridays are continuing at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St West.  If you appreciate salsa/timba dance music… rendered as only musicians educated in Cuba… the birthplace of the music… can play it!

You can start any and every weekend with a Friday night blast with great food, an topflight early jazz set, and the excitement of a fabulous big dance band to round out the night.

Just as an example this weekend:

Wagner Petrilli Trio – World/Jazz Fridays – Free! (7:30pm)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Wagner Petrilli

Wagner Petrilli Trio - World/Jazz Fridays - Free! (7:30pm)

Following up on the success of his debut solo CD Confissão , Brazilian guitarist Wagner Petrilli was also nominated for a 2015 Canadian Folk Award.


Café Cubano

Havana Club Cuba Libre Friday: Cafe Cubano + Dance Lesson With Santos Lee + DJ Suave

Led by piano player Jorge Betancourt and featuring some of the city’s top Cuban players, Cafe Cubano is one of Toronto’s most popular salsa and timba bands.

Gnosis: David Virelles, Román Díaz at Music Gallery – Nov 27+28

The Music Gallery, Arraymusic and Lula Music & Arts present
DAVID VIRELLES: GNOSIS featuring Román Díaz

see video here:

Roman Diaz
Roman Diaz

As announced in August by David V:

I’m pleased to invite you to the world premier of my chamber piece Gnosis in Toronto, on November 27 and 28 at the Music Gallery, featuring Master percussionist Roman Diaz, and a group of Toronto – Cuba’s finest musicians including Jorge Luis Papiosco, Reimundo Sosa, Magdelys Sav and Amhed Mitchel.

As far as I know, it’s the first piece of this kind that features prominently the Abakuá drums, even though it is known that several important 20th century Cuban composers studied these rhythms and incorporated some of this language in their music.

I really hope you can join us. Román has visited Toronto before with Yoruba Andabo featuring the legendary Merceditas Valdés, and later participated in the very memorable Art of Jazz Festival curated by our friend Jane Bunnett. This will be a unique opportunity to catch this masterful musician and embassador of Afro – Cuban culture. I play a first set solo piano featuring my Cuban piano pieces collection Èfé.

Friday & Saturday November 27-28
Doors: 7pm | Concert: 8pm
The Music Gallery, 197 John St.
Tickets: $30 Regular | $20 members | $15 students | $25 Advance

LOS 4 direct from Havana to Toronto Friday Nov 2015

What we have been waiting for ! Top Cubaton reggaeton group from Cuba LOS 4 finally in Toronto !

This 10 piece band will satisfy your Cubaton and Casino dancing desires!


Friday Nov 20 2015

The Opera house 735 Queen street east Toronto

Doors 9pm Showtime 11pm

Tickets advance prices  $40 regular $65 VIP ( fronto of house)

19 + event

DJ Bernal and DJ Alberth Moreno

MC surprise from Havana !  and with Myrna Kahan


ONLINE Tickets



Afrolatino Dance Company 901 Yonge street (416.671.7140)
Spanish Bookstore 872 Bathurst street Toronto ( De Lunes a Viernes) (416.533.4000)
Sheimy Cellular Pro 1740 Jane Street (416.249.7200)
Colombia Fashion 2952 Dufferin St (647.391.7066)
Toronto Latino 1786 Eglinton W (416.781.0919)
La Cocina de Dona Luz 807 St Clair Ave west 416 652 7430
Fanery’s Convenience 3085 Hurontario Street unit 9, Mississauga. (905.272.9257)
La Favorita 18 Queen street West Brampton (905.460.1346)

Saludo from Jorgito de Los 4 on world tour right now!


Panfilo video announcing cancellation..Pronto nueva fecha – New date soon

PANFILO this Friday NOV 6 CANCELLED .. A new date will be announced. With a very heavy heart and apologies to our Publico ..Luis Silva PANFILO has a close family member in hospital surgery this Thursday. The date has to be postponed .. The three comedians posted this video . WE are heartbroken and worked very hard for an almost Sold out show this Friday ..IN consultation with the artists and with member of our public once the post op prognosis is clear we will reschedule this event . In the meantime please get full refund for all you tickets at point of purchase

CANCELADO: Quienes hayan adquirido boletos para este evento, podrán obtener un reembolso en el mismo punto de venta

Everyone can go back to their point of purchase and get full refund.




PANFILO “recordar es volver a fingir” este Viernes 6 de Noviembre esta cancelado . Una nueva fecha se va anunciar pronte despues que consultamos con el artista LUIS SILVA y los miembres do nuestro publico . El trio de comediantes prepararnaon en La Havana este video ..echo con amor y allegria a su forma de comediantes pero la situacion es bien seria …Luis Silva tiene una de las personas mas cerca de su corazon en el hospital con una opeacion este mismo Jueves 5 de Noviembre . El tiene que estar a su lado . Tenemos el corazon bien triste primerament por lo que esta pasando a Luis Silva ( PANFILO) y despues para nuestro publico que queremos tanto y que apoyaron para que este evento iba estar a FULL CAPACIDAD ..Esperamos su recuperacion pronto para poder anunciar nueva fecha y darle todo el amor y carino que podemos …
LO QUE TIENE BOLETOS recuperan YA en FULL su dinero a los puntas de ventas donde compraron . Gracias por su comprehension ..Okokan productions /Afrolatino dance company /Havanarte productions .

PANFILO this Friday NOV 6 CANCELODO .. A new date will be announced. With a very heavy heart and apologies to our Publico ..Luis Silva PANFILO has a close family member in hospital surgery this Thursday. The date has to be postponed .. The three comedians posted this video . WE are heartbroken and worked very hard for an almost Sold out show this Friday ..IN consultation with the artists and with member of our public once the post op prognosis is clear we will reschedule this event . In the meantime please get full refund for all you tickets at point of purchase

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque and Emeline Michel – Koerner Hall – Oct 24 2015

Emeline Michel is the reigning Queen of Haitian Song: a captivating performer, versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation. Emeline Michel is beloved for combining traditional Haitian rhythms with social, political and inspirational lyrics. Celebrated Canadian flutist and saxophonist Jane Bunnett intmaquequeroduces the world to Maqueque, an ensemble of female musicians from Cuba.

Dread Mar I direct from Buenos Aires in Toronto Oct 8 2015

Direct from Buenos Aires and accompanied by all of his musicians DREAD MAR I singer songwriter in reggae genre will be performing at The Phoenix concert theatre Thursday OCT 8 2015 . This will be his first stop on his ” Gira 10 anos” tour  celebrating the 10th year anniversary of the band .

Okokan productions presents Dread Mar I

Dread Mar I

Thursday Oct 8 2015

Phoenix concert theatre 410 Sherbourne street Toronto

Doors 830pm Showtime 10pm

with DJ Geo and MC Grande

Tickets $40 advance $50 at the door 19 + event  NO VIP

for tickets and info call Sophie 416 8362600 ( English )    or Graciela 416 949 7647 (spanish)

tickets available at

Locations Spanish Bookstore 872 Bathurst street

Tenoch restaurant 933 St Clair Ave west

Afrolatino dance company  901 Yonge street


PANFILO y sus invitados Mente de Pollo y Kike Quinones Toronto Viernes 6 de Noviembre 2015

Recordar es volver a fingir - HUMOR CUBANO 2015 2_01

Viernes  Nov 6 2015 Panfilo y sus invitados en Toronto ! con el show “recordar es volver a fingir ”

Lithuanian Banquet Hall 1573 Bloor street west Toronto

Friday 6 of November 2015 Panfilo and his guests in Toronto !

Panfilo con Mente de Pollo y Kike Quinones juntos por la Primera vez en Canada que nos preparon el show  ” Reourder es Volver a Vivir”

Pánfilo vuelve a Toronto en un show que hará reír a toda la familia. Pero esta vez no estará sólo. Lo acompañan el popular Carlos Gonzalvo ‘Mente de Pollo’ y Kike Quiñones.

Puerta 8pm – Inicio del Show 930pm

con DJ Bernal- Afrolatino dance company – Comida y Bebida a la venta y la ” RIFA PANFILO ”



Boletos en linea

También en negocios hispanos
Afrolatino Dance Company 901 Yonge street (416.671.7140)
Spanish Bookstore 872 Bathurst street Toronto ( De Lunes a Viernes) (416.533.4000)
Sheimy Cellular Pro 1740 Jane Street (416.249.7200)
Colombia Fashion 2952 Dufferin St (647.391.7066)
Toronto Latino 1786 Eglinton W (416.781.0919)
Fanery’s Convenience 3085 Hurontario Street unit 9, Mississauga. (905.272.9257)
La Favorita 18 Queen street West Brampton (905.460.1346)

The most famous Cuban comedian PANFILO returns to Toronto Friday November 6 2015 with 2 guests Mente de Pollo ( chicken brain) and Kike Quinones ..with skits and improv based on their brand new show ” To remember is to start faking it again ” ..

DJ Bernal in the intermission for dancing ; Afrolatino dance company show along with great food and drinks for sale .  Raffle “Panfilo 2015” with great prizes also will take place at midnight.


Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor Aug 20 2015 in Toronto for the first time


This is an event presented by
4 A Better World Management Agency
Co produced by Afrolatino dance company Okokan productions and Cuba in Toronto
Date: Thursday August 20 2015
Time: Doors 8:30 pm, Show: 10 pm (SHARP)
Venue: The Opera House 735 Queen street East Toronto ONT Canada
Admission prices:
– $25 advance summer special price !
– $30 online sales will be set up this week !
– $35 at the door.
Afrolatino dance company 901 Yonge street 416-671-7140
More locations TBA

ONLINE SALES  Maykel Blanco Toronto Event Brite

JOIN us on Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor FACEBOOK EVENT

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see one of Cuba’s most popular Orchestras as they make their debut performance in Canada, led by the exceptional Maykel Blanco.
Blanco stands out as the youngest musician to ever lead a popular Cuban mega-band, having begun as director of the 14-piece Salsa Mayor at the tender age of twenty-three.
Over the past decade, this high energy, innovative ensemble have solidified their reputation as a force to be reckoned with, producing hit after hit on the island’s top charts.
Come and enjoy this extraordinary band’s very first appearance ever in Canada on Thursday August 20 2015 at the spectacular Opera house 735 Queen street Toronto Ontario ( Queen/Broadview) as they deliver a cross section of the most popular songs they’ve played during more than 10 years of continued success.
Come and see this great 14 piece band on a great stage with top of the line sound system and lights !
DJ Bernal in the house.
The boys are touring western Canada Japan and Australia and this will be their last show before their trip to Peru !

CINECUBA 2015 Sat May 30, Sun May ?31, 2015 – ALL FILMS FREE

CineCuba strives to open the window to Canadians to see the real Cuba. ICAIC (the Cuban film commission) was the first ministry established post revolution, and when one sees Cuban film, a long standing commitment to arts and culture is evident….. CineCuba is committed to helping Canadians understand just why they are drawn to this idyllic and uncommonly friendly but industrious and ?enigmatic paradise.

The first 200 seats for all films are FREE* on a first come first serve rush basis.

The Royal holds 400 viewers; 200 seats are available on at just $10.00 each?, for those who would prefer to be assured of a seat!

Click for more info

Maqueque round 2 – for those who missed them last year – and those who didn’t!

Jane Bunnett says she it wasn’t the music that brought her on her first trip to Cuba.  More, it was drinking-water problems on her tropical vacations in other places!

But when she arrived, it was the unexpected – the music blew her away.

It ended up more than a holiday… it reshaped her successful career as a jazz musician.

You can look at Latin Jazz as importing a few snappy rhythms from Cuba, the usual approach.   But Cuban musicians in person can demonstrate how their rich musical heritage can be much more.  You can use it as a foundation that can hold its own and meld with other music in ways not yet explored outside Cuba.

The connection with Cuba’s music and musicians Ms Bunnett made on that trip have flourished an left traces around the world… from movies like “Spirits of Havana”, CDs by the group of the same name, and wonderful musicians.

Musicians who might have never left Cuba without Jane’s intervention are sprinkled around the world, like David Virelles lately popular in New York City, and numerous other musicians in Toronto, across Canada and the world.  And now, these fabulous ladies touring as Maqueque.

Right now, they have just finished a stint at Jazz Bistro in Toronto, and are off to West Coast USA for a tour.  They are scheduled at the Montreal Jazz Fest this year, many people from Toronto make that an annual trip.  The tour appears to be still filling in, watch for news!.

Ladies and Gentlemen of TRI-CITY! HELLOOOO from Charanga Habanera – Apr 25 2015

Neruda Arts is a non-profit organization in Kitchener, known for a public festival they present each year.

Neruda has stepped forward for YOU… to make sure the TRI-CITY is part of the GOZANDO zone… that is, the Charanga Habanera 2015 Canadian tour!

April 25, don’t be the one with the long face listening to other people telling you … “YOU shoulda been there!”… get a ticket, Jack…!  And Jill….

IF YOU DON’T SHOW… you’ll also have to listen to them raving about the new night club in KW area… SAZON… Don’t be in the back seat listening, take the wheel and drive… TICKETS HERE:

Charanga Habanera Tickets


Celina Gonzalez, “que viva Chango”, death of a modest giant in Cuban music

A milestone, one of the sad ones, death of Celina Gonzalez …

It might sound off to unaccustomed ears… but the mix of the old Spanish decima stanza style with Cuban rhythm really swings hard once you tune into it… like the song “yo soy el punto cubano” included in the article…

.. yo soy el punto cubano, en la manigua vivia, cuando el mambi se batia, con el machete en la mano…

She was genuinely from the world of the Cuban countryside, hard farming work, strong support networks of neighbours.

The form of recreation was a guateque… neighbours invited for miles around, straggle in at dusk to somebody’s humble country home… roast pork, dance, sing til dawn. She is honoured still today by Cuban musicians of all stripes… they pay tribute usually by singing her “que viva chango”. But sadly pretty much an unknown name to new generations.

She was reported to have been flabbergasted that she was to perform in a stadium with thousands of idolizing fans in her first visit to Colombia. And similarly amazed by how famous she was even amongst Latinos in New York. To her, the best party is far from stadium-filling idolatry… it’s the house party… which is still the way in Cuba.

Nice interview …

Cuban culture in Toronto, Canada