Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jencarlos Canela in Toronto Friday February 6 2015

Jencarlos Canela singer songwriter , actor and all around impressive talent coming for an early Valentine’s show Friday February 6 2015 Pearson convention centre 2638 Steeles Ave east Brampton Ontario .

There are TWO options to choose from


SHOW only $45

also performing Teria Morada ( singer and dancer par excellence) and Henry Flow

For tickets call 416 418 4725 or 647 760 6196

This show is presented by La Guia Hispana ..Phone book and website where you can get info about all Latin businesses in Toronto and surrounding area.

Song written by Jencarlos for his beautiful friend Monica Spear who passed away last January 6 2014

Adonis Puentes and Pancho Amat

Free Concert:  November 18 12:15 pm,  First Canadian Place, Waterfall stage

“Cuban-Canadian vocalist Adonis Puentes teams up with world renowned, master of the Cuban tres, Pancho Amat to present their latest project “Veinte Años.” This project is a tribute to María Teresa Vera, an icon in the creation of Cuban Music, known for her peculiar way of composing and interpreting music. Contemporary and tasteful musical arrangements, together with the musical virtuosity and perfection of the participating musicians make this tribute a beautiful projection into the future of creation and interpretations of the music of Cuba. ”

Or….If you can’t make the lunchtime show and prefer a more intimate setting, they are playing at Hugh’s Room the same night at 8:30 pm.   Ticket/Reservation Details here.

Azucar Negra… a truly seminal band in modern Cuban dance music… plays in Toronto… one night only at Lula Lounge!
Friday October 24, 2014.  Led by creative spirit Leonel Limonta, who wrote many of the most famous dance tunes performed by this band and by others!

Tickets available NOW $30 advance at:;  BOLIS  books, 872 Bathurst.

Tickets available SOON at: Afrolatino Dance Company, Sheimy’s Cellular Pro 1742 Jane St., and Soundscapes 572 College St.

Dance lesson with Julio Montero from Vancouver 9.30pm  Showtime for Azucar Negra ( give or take a  half hour!) 22.30pm  . There will be a second set and intermission between .

CDS will be available at the show.

Okokan productions will also be presenting a local artist as an opening act. She will perform one or two songs from her brand new album which she recorded in Cuba with musicians there. Her name is FOLANA .

FRIDAY OCT 3 Luis Silva ” PANFILO” in Toronto

Okokan and Afrolatino present Cuba’s best comedian  followed by dance party .He is known as “PANFILO” of the TV show ” Vivir el cuento”  PANFILO will give us 1.5 hours of great comedy followed by a puro Cubano dance party featuring Djs  BERNAL and YUMANICHE. Food will be available for purchase by celebrated chef PEDRO QUINTANTILLA of BLOOM restaurant. Date Friday OCT 3 2014 location Lithuaian banquet hall 1573 Bloor street w  (Dundas w subway station) doors 2030 pm show 2130pm surprise guests .. bar and food available.. Tables and chairs TICKETS Sheimy cellular pro 1740 Jane street Bolis Spanish bookstore 872 Bathurst  and online at click HERE for lin

BOLETOS.  En  SHEIMY cellular pro 1740 Jane street  Bolis Spanish Books 872 Bathurst. Info 6478186602

Cuba meets Turkey : Zeynep Ozbilen and Roberto Linares Brown Lulaworld Fri May 30 2014

Zeynep Ozbilen with Roberto Linares Brown

Co-presented with with DJ Yumaniche and dance with Vladimir

For more than a decade, Zeynep Ozbilen performed lead vocals for the first, and best-known, Latin group in Turkey — The Latin All Stars. Working with one of the most highly-respected salsa bandleaders and composers in Canada, Roberto Linares Brown. Ozbilen brings to Lula a completely new project which she describes as “Latin with Mediterranean spices.”

Line Up:

Zeynep Ozbilen, vocals

Roberto Linares Brown, piano backing vocals and musical director

Ricardo Barboza, backing Vocals

Frank Marcosm, bass

Aris Montenegro, congas

Jalidan Ruiz, drums

Vicente, percussion

John Pittman, trumpet

Christopher Butcher, trombone

Anthony Rinaldi, alto sax

Ambrioris Junior, minor percussion

Juan Formell August 2 1942- May 1 2014 leader of Los Van Van

Los Van Van para siempre ! El Tren de la salsa !

We mourn deeply along with Cuba and the world  the death of the tremendously talented Juan Climaco Formell Cortinas known as Juan Formell founder and leader of our beloved Los Van Van for more than 45 years. We will be forever celebrating his life and his work. With every dance to a Los Van Van song we will honor Juan Formell and hold him in our hearts . He will now be our beacon and his light in this world will  live on in each and every note.   Cubaintoronto  will be posting more in the days to come . I wanted to share a couple of photos that the lovely Marilu Lopez Fretts gave to us from the last Los Van Van concert in Toronto at the Sound Academy November 27 2010 (Okokan productions) .  I don’t want to copy and paste all the great articles out there but there was a word that El Universal’s article used that truly resonates : This emblematic orchestra ” accompagno” generations of dancers for over 45 years …  Los Van Van performed for but truly did it to “accompany” dancers from all walks of life and from all generations . We are together on this journey . We will miss you Juan Formell . We will continue to love and dance with Los Van Van  with Samuel Formell his son as band leader .  As they say in Cuba and all over the world ” Los Van Van para siempre”   Los Van Van forever .

PHOTOS by Marilu Lopez Fretts  Los Van Van at the Sound Academy Nov 27 2010 ( Okokan productions concert)

Thanks to our friend Erick Perdomo for the video and editing from the last Toronto concert

Mulata “The Salsa Experience” Friday April 18 2014

Mulata “The Salsa Experience”. Come and join our 100% Cuban party made for all the Casineros, Timberos and all our Cuban music lovers. Dj Bernal will be in charge to give you the best Cuban fix. Hope we will see you at Epic Lounge, 1355 St. Clair Ave. West, this next Friday 18th. Agua!!!!
Party presented by Cuban Movement , DJ Bernal and Maria Aranibar productions
Join Their facebook event HERE

Osmani Garcia new date Friday April 4 2014

Osmani Garcia’s show has been postponed due to a visa delay. The concert will take place same time, same place on April 4 2014 ..keep your same tickets . The following is a note from the organizing team at FW Media Santiago Oseguera

Important news re Osmani Garcia .. Concert is pushed to a new date April 4 2014 same time same place .. here is the official press release from the organizers
This communication serves to advise everyone that the Osmani Garcia concert scheduled for March 21 will be rescheduled to another date due to delays from the Canadian Embassy in Cuba. The visa of Osmani Garcia and and team will be ready next week and the new concert date for Toronto will be Friday, April 4, 2014 at the same time and location.
Osmani is preparing a video explaining the situation and reassuring that everything is good to go for his upcoming trip to Canada.
FW Media thanks you for your patience and we hope you understand this unexpected circumstance. We are doing what we can to ensure this change has no negative impact and that the party is ready for everyone as planned.
All tickets purchased will be valid so do not misplace them.
Looking forward to you joining us on this new day for the highly anticipated Osmani Garcia concert!
Santiago Oseguera
FW Media


Friday April 4 2014

Jamaican Canadian Hall
995 Arrow Road
Toronto, ON M9M 2Z5
( Hwy. 400 and Finch Ave. West)

Tickets online $45 REG $75 VIP

Information: (416) 858-2581

Also with DJ Danny Castro and DJ Liga from Holguin, Cuba

Traditional Cuban music with Guaracha and Son


Thursday March 13 2014

Pepper’s Café, 189 Wallace, Toronto ON (Just west of Lansdowne between Bloor and Dupont)
  • Led by bassist Roberto Riveron with Pabolsky Rosales on tres and vocals, Chendy Leon Sr. on percussion, and Jorge Maza on flute, this all-Cuban quartet performs classic son montuno, guaracha, bolero, changüíd and guajira from the 30s to 60s.No cover! Cheap drinks! Cosy atmosphere.Get ready to dance!
  • Sierra Maestra : History lands at Lula this Wednesday March 5th 2014

    This piece is by writer Joyce Corbett-Humbert ( The Live music report) We wanted to share it with you !

    Sierra Maestra is coming to Toronto! Wednesday, March 5th at Lula Lounge. Who are they? If you already know them and you live in the GTA you probably already have your tickets. If you don’t or if you have heard of them but don’t really know them, let me fill you in. Sierra Maestra is famous for playing the quintessential Cuban music known as “son”, the predecessor of salsa and probably the first Europeanized Cuban music in which the clave was played. Sierra Maestra’s aim is to maintain the heartbeat of this music on the world stage. Although son may not be the music most young people listen to in Cuba today, it is still very much alive in its birthplace of Oriente (Eastern Cuba) and the “Sierra Maestra” mountains where this style of music was born.

    Sierra Maestra was formed in 1976 in Havana, decades before The Buena Vista Social Club (1996), by Juan de Marcos Gonzalez who later formed the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.Jésus Alemany, who went on to form the group Cubanismo, was also a prominent member. A household name in Cuba, Sierra Maestra has about 14 albums to their credit. They created the soundtrack to a Cuban TV series “Las Impuras” and their song “A LosRumberos de Belen” was used by Robert Redford for the soundtrack of “The MilagroBeanfield War”. They also appear in the French movie “Salsa” released in 2000 and directed by Luis Buñuel’s daughter-in-law, Joyce Buñuel.

    Sierra Maestra’s instrumentation is typical of the classic son orchestras of the 1920s and 30s: tres, guitar, trumpet, voice, bass, bongos, guiro, congas and maracas. Their repertoireis filled with classics from artists such as Arsenio Rodriguez and Ignacio Piñero plus Sierra Maestra originals. If you like “old-school” Cuban music you will love SierraMaestra.

    As is typical for Cuban shows in Toronto, this promises to be an exciting night with some nice extras, like a performance by Gera, a Cuban dancer newly-arrived in Toronto.  Gera and Kika will be performing a casino and Gera will also perform a Columbia . Master dancer and santero Antonio Ramirez will bring an Orisha to the the room and  DJ Johannus will play before , in between and after show .

    Best to get there on time if you don’t want to miss anything!

    Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8:30.

    Joyce Corbett-Humbert

    Getting to see a group like this in a small space like Lula Lounge is quite amazing, this is the type of audience they can attract in Havana.

    Sierra Maestra is a mountain range in the area where the  Cuban Son music was invented.  The band Sierra Maestra aims to bring the 1920’s style of “son” to life wherever they play. Small World Music brings the band to Lula Lounge on Wednesday Mar 5, 2014.  Click HERE to BUY TICKETS!

    Wikipedia says: Sierra Maestra are the guardians of the Cuban son music tradition. They creatively preserved this infectious dance music and have gone on to be its finest performers. Always popular with dancers as well as listeners, they have played at clubs and festivals around the world to huge acclaim.  The band have played a hugely significant part in the recent global explosion in popularity of Cuban music. Indeed, their ex-leader, Juan de Marcos González was the man who created Buena Vista Social Club while still with the band.

    Papiosco CD release party – Lula Lounge, Wed Feb 5 2014 – mark it down!

    As a 10-year-old conguero… Jorge Luis Torres (“Papiosco”) was first seen on Cuban television as a protege of Tata Guines.  He was introduced then as Tata’s “relief pitcher”… the performance amazed the public and musicians alike… and Papiosco’s services have been in demand from that day on with top Cuban bands and performers.

    Fans world-wide who know their percussion have had their eyes out for this CD… and the release party is Wednesday, Feb 5 at Lula Lounge, Toronto.You can buy this CD by digital download from cdbaby, Amazon, and iTunes and possibly others by now.

    The first review on Amazon is by Alberto Nacif, himself a professional US percussionist, tells the story:

    “This is the first release as a leader for Jorge Luis Torres ‘Papiosco’, an important percussionist from Cuba, now living in Toronto. He is a veteran of many great Cuban bands, including Omara Portuondo, Cubanismo, and Pablo Milanes. This release has a fine variety of music styles and textures which showcase Papiosco’s great versatility as a percussionist, but manage to maintain his personal rhythmic style. Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran are musicians with whom Papiosco plays regularly are both featured on this recording. I strongly recommend this!”

    Iroko Project

    Havana Style Cafe ! Renovated! Friday Oct 25

    In Etobicoke 270 Brown’s line , Havana Style is a wonderful art gallery , cafe , restaurant with a delicious Cubano sandwich on the menu.  They have just renovated and  are promising some dancing there . The owners are inviting everyone to come and check it out this Friday Oct 25 2013  from 9pm.. Click on image and check out blogto’s great review and pics by fellow Cubano photographer Alejandro Santiago .

    Cafe Cubano + $29 Thanksgiving dinner – Lula Lounge Sat Oct 12

    Kind of amazing the quality of Cuban music and musicians you can drop in and hear at Lula Lounge. Thank-you Lula, and thank-you to the great musicians who have found their way to Toronto!

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

    THE OTHER STAR of the EVENING: very affordable THANKSGIVING DINNER – cheaper than cooking. And for the many fans who don’t have family here in Canada… here’s a chance to experience the Canadian family tradition, let Lula can be it, experience the Canadian tradition of Thanksgiving dinner for CHEAPER THAN YOU CAN COOK –

    Click on the photo for details!

    Leader in Yoga in Cuba, Pimental – part of Uma Nota – now to Oct 20

    You should check out Uma Nota Festival (click the link)… it’s healthy and growing every year – covering more territory… this year, including a prominent authority on Yoga hailing from Cuba.

    Eduardo Pimentel is the lead instructor for MHAI YOGA, a Toronto-based movement that dedicates itself to organizing yoga retreats in Cuba and aims at bringing together a rewarding yoga journey, Cuban culture and organic cuisine. He is also the man solely responsible for the growth and spread of yoga in Cuba. His passion for the practice developed out of an early interest in the physical and mental benefits of yoga and he began teaching himself various yoga postures out of a book. By 1982 Eduardo had begun teaching yoga anywhere and everywhere across Havana and the rest of the island. Slowly but surely the practice became recognized as a positive method of health maintenance throughout Cuba. Eduardo opened up his very own studio in Havana, Vidya Yoga where he teaches classes but also utilizes yoga as a method of alleviating health problems such as osteo-muscular pains, asthma, stress, insomnia and many more.

    As president and founder of the non-governmental Cuban Yoga Association (CYA), Eduardo has trained more than 12,000 yoga practitioners and has worked and practiced with some of the world’s greatest yogis such as Krishna Kaur and Deepak Chopra during their Cuba visits. The association organizes numerous therapeutic workshops as well as meditation retreats and reaches out to the entire Cuban community in an effort to promote yoga and its immense benefits to health, harmony and life balance.

    During his stay in Toronto Eduardo Pimentel will be participating in the following classes and workshops, with the support of the following studios and venues:

    Shunyata Yoga –
    Saturday, October 12th and 19th, 8:30 AM – Introduction to Iyengar Yoga
    Saturday, October 20th, 2:00PM-5PM – Yoga in Cuba Workshop

    Lula Lounge –
    Saturday, October 19th, 11:30AM-1PM – Cuban Yoga in Toronto (followed by the UMA Nota Festival of Tropical Expressions, an even focusing on music, arts and culture from across the Americas –

    Downward Dog –
    Sunday, October 26th, 3:00PM-5PM – Hips and Balance Workshop

    Diaspora Film Fest presents 2 good movies about Cuba – Una Noche, Amor Cronico

    Summer’s over… time to see some good movies about Cuba… there’s CineCuba coming up here … and now the Diaspora Film Fest presents two interesting Cuban related films.

    This will be a rare chance to see these two movies in Toronto… Bookmark now, and check back for dates and venues… they appear to not be finalized yet on the site.  The fest runs Nov 1 – Nov 5.

    Unlike CineCuba these are sourced off the island, in the USA.

    But among such movies… some tell truth about Cuba, and some bear no resemblance to real Cuba: through malice or ignorance, it makes no difference: trash is only trash. And once you know something about real Cuba, there tends to be no tolerance for trash…

    Take a look at the trailers for these and you may well want to see both of them…

    Cucu with Oguere, Paz sin Fronteras in Havana 2009

    Click on the image for showing information.

    Sarah Green has a long list of movie productions to her name, this one is about a “chronic love” with Cuba…

    …. through the eyes of Cucu Diamantes, known to readers as lead singer of cuban fusion group based in New York “Yerba Buena”… or rather, focussing our eyes on the somehow larger than life persona of Cucu.

    Una Noche, a film about stay... or go...

    Click on the image for showing info.

    The image of the balsero is sometimes about adventures, daredevils… or maybe a heroic drive for freedom…
    But the bigger story as always, is deeper and personal … the tight web between of friends, lovers, families in this country… and the stresses and damage when someone decides to go.

    Lucy Mulloy interview

    Well-known independent US director Spike Lee fell in love with the movie and did a lot to get it finished and exposed.

    C.U. Dance ( casineros unidos) school 2013 new info

    For complete information on dance teachers listings please click HERE

    C.U. Dance website

    C.U. Dance  (Casineros Unidos) new school on the scene: already with 300+ students and club outings, Casineros Unidos has joined the fine established businesses where you can learn to dance, Cuban style. The teachers have many years experience teaching, and are very knowledgeable about Cuban culture and dance!  New courses starting at 750 Yonge street this Saturday October 5 2013

    Also, one of the oldest Cuban style schools is led by Vlad Aranda, Rhythm and Roots. See the Dance page for his regular classes. Now there is a special session to tell you about: Cuban folkloric and rumba classes, with live Cuban percussionists at every session! See the poster below:


    Some of the excellent working musicians who also teach … as far as we know:

    • Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco” – percussion

    • Joaquin Hidalgo – percussion

    • Pablo Rosales – tres guitar

    As far as contacting these fine musicians, we recommend finding out where they have gigs and talking to them face to face.  I’d ask the people at Lula Lounge for one.  And if you have some direct contact information, or status updates, please let us know!


    Chris Butcher show Dig! (WEDNESDAYS, 12:00-2:00PM) includes some music from Cuba, he’s involved as trombone in several of the bands that play regularly at Lula Lounge.  His radio show includes the modern dance music “timba” and other cool music from Cuba. If you miss the live show time, you can always hear the current weeks show here.

    Chris Butcher has an event calendar for bands he’s involved with, and other stuff he is interested in:

    On CJRT Saturday 4pm- 6pm the show Cafe Latino hosted by Laura Fernandez includes son, jazz and fusion music from Cuba.


    There’s Julie’s at 202 Dovercourt Road, Toronto.

    Havana style Cafe and Gallery on Brown’s line, west Toronto.

    If you should find yourself in Ottawa, Ontario, you should go to the popular Havana Cafe


    Lula Lounge is the #1 supporter of Cuban and Latin music in this town, no doubts.  Best live music here weekly…

    See their site for the hot bands tha appear their on a weekly basis.  And on Sundays, the Cuban son brunch, tasty and sabroso.

    Tuesdays: 6 degrees, often a live band of mostly local Cuban musicians.  No timba in between sets though, just so you know.

    The public Facebook group called “Toronto Casino and Timba” is becoming a place where many events are announced.  You have to belong to Facebook to see this.

    We have a kind of mirror of “Cuba in Toronto” on Facebook.  But sometimes, people post good news there directly, without posting it on the website as well… so you can check that too.


    Ask for DJ Bernal, or DJ Yumaniche for your Timba DJ work.  (Updates needed, if you know how to contact these people!)


    The school AfroLatino ( see dance list above) does annual trip to Cuba, focussing on salsa and a bit of fokloric dancing, using excellent local teachers: this year, the All-Stars rueda troupe in Santiago de Cuba.

    Joyce Humbert of RitmaCuba ties in with the excellent Ritma Cuba vacations, which feature all kinds of Cuban music and dance

    If you have more regular weekly or monthly Cuban culture-related events please contact us!

    First Friday each month: Dominion on Queen:

    Havana To Toronto Live with Joaquin Nunez Hildalgo & Eddie Bullen – usually 9 pm

    Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo presents his hot band playing Latin and Caribbean music with some of Toronto’s best musicians

    Check … weekly Latin music live.

    UPDATE: Havana d’Primera NIGHT 3: at Lula Lounge tonight Sat SEP 21!

    Regular events at Lula tonight Sat Sept 21 are postponed… HAVANA d’PRIMERA will be in the house for the third SMASH NIGHT… half the people I know are going all three nights… and apparently some haven’t missed a show on the tour since Alexander finished with AUSTRALIA – not only Guelph, but Edmonton dates as well!

    Here’s a video clip from last nights amazing show.  Good things come in threes, and God is looking after those people who couldn’t get tickets last night.   $40 gets you the best dance band in the world right now.

    …if you went to Thurs and Fri at Lula … send a private FACEBOOK message to Sophie Giraud for good news…

    …from Tracy at Lula: “If you know of anyone that would like to hear Havana D’Primera tonight (Saturday), please let them know that there are advance tickets for sale online or they can come to the door after 5pm this evening. As on a regular Saturday, the first set will start at 10:30 with the dance lesson at 9pm.”

    Click for video from last night!  A DONDE tu VAS??? to LULA of course


    AVIS the bass player alone has enough tumbao for a normal band... verdad!!

    Daisy Villalejo back in Montreal in Sept-Oct – semaines afro-cubaines Ilu Ladé

    Daisy Villalejo est reconnue dans le monde des Arts afro-cubains comme danseuse soliste, professeur et chorégraphe. Elle débute en 1974 comme ballerine du Ballet Patakin au sein duquel elle fera de nombreuses tournées à travers le monde. En 1980, elle intègre le célèbre CONJUNTO FOLKLORICO NACIONAL DE CUBA.

    Daisy Villalejo is well known in the world of the Afro-Cuban arts, as a solo dancer, and professor of choreography.  She set out in 1974 as a dancer of Ballet Patakin, in the course of which she traveled to numerous places all over the world.  Then in 1980, she joined the famous CONJUNTO FOLKLORICO NACIONAL DE CUBA.

    September 21 to the October 11 2013

    Semaines afro-cubaines Ilu click here:  Ilu Ladé-affiche semaines2013

    UPDATE: an error has been corrected on the workshp pricing: complete session 100$ (not 130$!!)  and individual classes: 30$..