The Havana Club team in Toronto are probably top-notch at selling rum in Canada. However… after they got a mojito and a cigar in hand, they kinda lost interest before they found out anything about Cuban music.
So they are presenting a Varadero tourist view of Cuban culture ;-).
Without Billy Bryans on their advisory team (R.I.P. Billy!)… they appear to be having trouble seeing all the Cuban talent that’s in front of their noses in Toronto.
They found some DJs that have some Latin-sounding stuff… they remember Telmary from last year…
Other than that, they came up pretty much empty-handed. This, in the city with the most Cuban musical talent outside Havana.
Someone at Painted Lady had the insight to book the Iya Ire rumba troupe before Telmary’s bit at Painted Lady Sunday evening. I guess the organizers aren’t sure if la Rumba is Cuban or not though. So they are not on the festival list ;-)…
Maybe they had less money, maybe without Billy it wasn’t coming together… but anyway, the bigger “Havana Cultura” of prior years is replaced by a Cuban & Latin Vibes fest this weekend only.
Anyway… something DID come together in spite of all that… check it on Ossington this weekend!
Mainly it’s about the Sunday night at the Painted Lady, 5:30 PM til late! Iya Ire, followed by Telmary. And some of that Latin-ish DJ music ;-).