Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cuba and South Africa freedom – conference at New College, U of T – Sep 27-28

CONFERENCE: Africa’s Unknown War: Apartheid Terror, Cuba and Southern African Liberation

Africa’s Unknown War: Apartheid Terror, Cuba and Southern African Liberation

This two-day event commemorates the 25th anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, a decisive moment in the struggle against apartheid. Featuring visiting scholars and activists from Cuba and elsewhere who participated in Cuba’s anti-apartheid action.

September 27th 2013
September 28th, 2013

Cafe Cubano keeps the heat going – Lula Friday the 13th

10:30 PM 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.

8 PM Cafe Voda

Crazy Voda is an exciting urban folk Afro-Latin Polka band exploring the common ground between Eastern European and Afro-Latin traditions.  This will be definitely something to talk about… and it costs no more to come early and catch the crazy.

It’s all at Lula Lounge on Friday evening, 1585 Dundas St West.

9 days to Havana d’ Primera… they did Japan, did Australia… now Canada again

On their second pass through Canada in the Pasaporte tour, Havana d’Primera comes to Lula Lounge in Toronto.  (I mean, probably *somebody* didn’t notice that yet?).   If you are watching the Abreu’s Progress here’s some grist for your mill:

Here’s the current leg …  highlighting Guelph and Toronto:

31.08.2013 Japan Tokyo ZEPP DiverCity Tokyo Festival
04.09.2013 Australia Brisbane Colosses Hall Concert
05.09.2013 Australia Adelaide, Fullarton Arkaba Hotel, Fullarton Concert
06.09.2013 Australia Sydney The Hi-fi, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park Concert
07.09.2013 Australia Melbourne Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington Concert

12.09.2013 Canada Edmonton Cook County Saloon Concert

13.09.2013 Canada Edmonton Kaleido Festival Festival
14.09.2013 Canada Edmonton Kaleido Festival Festival
15.09.2013 Canada Edmonton Fiesta Latina – Central Stage Festival
…18.09.2013 Canada Guelph, Ontario The E-Bar Concert
19.09.2013 Canada Toronto Lula Lounge Concert
20.09.2013 Canada Toronto Lula Lounge Concert

…. then… south to Chile:

17.10.2013 Chile Valparaíso Centro de Eventos “El Huevo” Concert
… etc etc etc
Japan video already available… Alexander makes his mark with trumpet before the dancing starts:
And well into the dance music, Pa Mi Gente… Oye lo!
Promo for the Australian leg:

La Crisis is getting bigger… Roberto Linares Brown

… relax, I am just talking about the song …

Hopefully the future brightens for Toronto resident, ex-arranger for Adalberto Alvarez y su Son in Havana, “Roberto Linares Brown”… as his song is getting covered in more places…

Beaches Jazz

Recently covered by:

  1. Miguel Enriquez
  2. El Nino y la Verdad — highly popular singer in Cuba today…
  3. Carlos Manuel, who had several big hits in Havana including “Tremenda Pareja”, before he moved to Miama in 2003.

Changui Havana – Lula Lounge – Fri Aug 30

Fri Aug 30, 2013 at Lula Lounge

8 PM Eric St. Laurent Trio

Winner of the Best Band Award at the Vienne Jazz Festival, The Eric St-Laurent Trio blends original, uplifting melodies and Afro-Cuban rhythms to create a distinctive, fresh new sound.

10:30 PM Changui Havana

This band is very hot with the dancers…  Changui Havana… is a twelve-piece all-Cuban group that moves effortlessly from salsa and merengue to cumbia, bachata and gritty steet-style timba.

CCFA – Salsa in the City Square – Changui Havana +more, Sat Aug 24

Salsa in the City Square

  • Saturday, August 24th, 2013 – 2 pm to 8 pm
  • Cuba auténtica — The real Cuba!
  • *** Free Admission ***

Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West at Bay

Cuban Dance Bands:

  • Changüí Havana
  • Pablo Terry & Sol de Cuba


  • Salsa Lessons
  • Display Tables
  • Beer Garden (Steam Whistle Brewery)
  • Cuban Food (by La Cubanita)

Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto and Juan Gualberto Gomez Association Toronto

Cafe Cubano at Lula Fri Aug 23 – also, Gabriel Palatchi Trio

10:30 pm Cafe Cubano

Cuba Libre Friday with Cafe Cubano + DJ Suave

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. 9:30 dance lesson by Vladimir.

8 PM Gabriel Palatchi Trio – no extra charge!

Argentinian pianist Gabriel Palatchi’s CD Diario de Viaje was chosen as one of the best albums of the year by JAZZ FM. Palatchi has toured Argentina, Mexico and Canada with his unique blend of tango, salsa, funk, electronica and Arabian influences.

CNE and Cuba – Damidance, Creole Choir (Desandann)

Usually Cuba is represented at the Canadian National Exhibition… and this year we have noticed 2 events.  Please let us know if there are more!

Damidance: Showcasing Latin culture in dance, rhythm and music, Damidance features dancers diverse nationalities and backgrounds and allows the audience to experience a show of exotic colors, exciting rhythms and exhilarating dance routines.

Aug 23, 4:30 – 5pm at the International Stage in the Direct Energy Centre.

The Creole Choir from Cuba celebrates the history of their Haitian descendants enslaved to the Caribbean from West Africa.  The group previously toured as Grupo Vocal Desandann.

Nurturing music passed down in their families since the early 19th century, the choir has gradually added modern Haitian sounds.

Be prepared to hear beautiful music!

Aug 26 to Sep 1, twice daily at 3 pm and 6:30 pm, 30 minute show, also at the International Stage in the Direct Energy Centre.

HAVANA d’PRIMERA a top 10 event in 2013…  in size… quality… musical genre… they exceed and excel.. Havana’s top band right now.  SIZE: the same band that blows away the dancers in Havana: all 13 musicians.  QUALITY: In Cuba, top band musicians learn with the best teachers… most graduate from world-renowned Escuela Nacional de Artes (ENA).  GENRE: The music they compose and perform (TIMBA) is considered a variation of salsa.  But in orchestration and complexity, it compares to any serious music: science applied to making you move.   TWO NIGHTS at Lula Lounge in Toronto… sponsored by Lula Music and Arts Centre, Okokan Productions &  Thurs Sep 19 2013/ Fri Sep 20, 2013.  Click for tickets!  (Facebook page link)

Havana d’Primera – in Toronto – September!

UPDATE Aug 11, 2013:

Havana d’ Primera is this year’s most popular band from Cuba, and they have played all around the world due to their mass appeal.

Now, they will be appearing for two nights at Lula Lounge in Toronto.

Thursday Sept 19, 9 pm, Lula Lounge: click here for ticket info
Friday Sept 20, 9:30 pm, Lula Lounge: click here for ticket info

REDUCED PRICE: SPECIAL LIMITED TIME offer for the 1st show, Thursday Sept 19. If you buy BEFORE AUGUST 19… the advance price of $40 will be ONLY $30.

Presented by Lula Music and Arts Centre, Okokan Productions &

UPDATE Aug 7, 2013:

Havana d’Primera have landed in Canada. They spent a few hours at Pearson airport and are off to Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Red Deer, Saskatoon. On their way back from Australia Thursday 19 September and Friday 20th September Havana d’Primera will be at Lula lounge in Toronto!!

This clip is Havana d’Primera at “New Morning” – one of the hottest clubs in Paris – recently…


7, 3013

Roland Hunter, Cafe Cubano – Fri Aug 9 at Lula

8 pm Roland Hunter

Don’t miss the 8 pm show… great music guaranteed, by this medium size jazz group… composed mainly from our crop of Cuban graduate musicians we are so lucky to have in Toronto… and led by a master of good taste, Roland Hunter.  No extra charge…

Inspired by the Tropical Jazz sounds of Cal Tjader and Jerry Gonzales’ Fort Apache Band, as well as the Modern Jazz canon, this Sextet strives to achieve their own personal sound. Their repertoire consists of mostly originals with some arrangements of jazz compositions.

10:30 pm Cafe 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.

Salsa on St Clair – Changui Havana – Sun Jul 14

The program doesn’t look trustworthy… you could read it to say Changui Havana plays from 6pm to 9pm at the main stage.   However if you are able to hang around St Clair Ave on Sunday evening, you can see yourself when they are playing!

Some of the best live dance music you can hear in town, free to wind up the festival.

If you click to go through to the program you will only see Saturday events.  Hunt down the page and you will see a little tab icon to click labelled Sunday, click that and you can see Sunday events.

Benefit for Ingrid – July 22 at Lula

Ingrid has been such a beautiful and generous friend to so many people, always ready to do whatever she could to give help to anyone who needed it.

We now have the opportunity to help Ingrid. Our goal is to raise enough to cover Ingrid’s cancer care and basic living expenses until she returns to work.

UPDATE: benefit details

LULA LOUNGE – MON JUL 22 2013 – from 7 pm

Toronto’s Dance and Latin Music communities come together to present a night of salsa and more in support of friend Ingrid Lara.

With a 7:30 Kizomba lesson by the GOdanz team + DJ Bernal and dance performances by Melissa Noventa and more.

Musical guests include: Yani Borrell, Pablosky Rosales, Luis Orbegoso, Jorge Maza, Eliana Cuevas, Roberto Riveron, Valeria Matzner, Alex Naar, Adis Rodriguez Galindo, Rosendo “Chendy” León Sr., Alexander Brown, Roberto Linares Brown and more.

Send email to if you have contributions for a silent auction, our Sophie is organizing it.

Doors Open: 7:00PM
Lesson Starts: 7:30PM
Admission: $20 suggested donation (more is very welcome)

If you can not attend but would like to help, please consider our indiegogo campaign.

More info click here!

C.U. Dance Productions and Ilede present workshop – Maestro Tangin Fong from Cuba!

Sunday JULY 7 2013 from 11:00am until 1:00pm

C.U. Dance Productions and Ilede present Latin Free-style Dance Workshop with Maestro Tangin Fong from Cuba!

Bend the rules and move your body naturally, irrespective of dance style! This 2-hr workshop focuses on how to improvise and apply body movement in Latin dance (including Salsa (Cuban or linear styles), Cha cha cha, Bachata, etc.). You will learn how to:
  • Move and place your feet in a natural way
  • Use your body sensually, powerfully, and freely
  • Add more creativity to your dancing
  • Apply body movement techniques effectively in partner dancing

This fun yet relaxed session is intended for dancers of all levels. It will be led by Master Instructor and Choreographer Tangin Fong, from Santiago, Cuba. Tangin will be applying both folkloric and contemporary body movements, in his unique style, during this workshop. We are very excited to have him here!

Cost is $25 in advance (via secure Paypal link below), $30 at the door.

Please see below for Tangin’s bio:

“C.U. Dance Productions and Ilede are pleased to present Maestro Tangin Fong, a highly acclaimed instructor, choreographer and musician from Cuba. Tangin is known for his unique dance style, where he effectively and seamlessly fuses many art forms, including modern, contemporary, folkloric and martial arts. His teaching style is fun yet structured and relaxed; he is known for his keen sense of awareness of his dancers’/students’ abilities, limitations and potential, and is second to none in his ability to bring out the best in people.

Tangin was born in Santiago de Cuba where he studied dance at the “Escuela Vocacional de Danza” in Santiago de Cuba; he moved to Havana where he graduated in 1992 as a professional dancer and instructor, specializing in modern and folkloric dances, from the National School of Contemporary and Folkloric Dance (“Escuela Nacional de Danza”). During his studies, Tangin participated in many provincial and national competitions as a choreographer where he received critical acclaim and recognition as a prominent talent in Cuba (at the “Concurso UNEAC”). Upon graduating, he joined the National Contemporary Dance Company (“Danza Contemporanea de Cuba”) as a main dancer and choreographer. From there, he founded his own dance company, Corpus Spiritu Alma, where he has taught a myriad of young talented dancers graduated from the National School of Dance and choreographed over a hundred dance pieces.

Tangin has travelled the world to perform and teach in countries such as Japan, Canada, France, USA, Venezuela, Jamaica and many others. He has trained hundreds of dancers both abroad and those who have come to Cuba attracted by his style and his way of relating contemporary and folkloric dances with martial arts. Tangin has also participated as a judge in many local and international dance festivals in Cuba and abroad. He is considered the founder of Video Dance in Cuba. He is presently residing in Toronto and exploring opportunities in the Canadian dance world.”

See you there!

Ilede Arts

Roberto Linares Brown orq. – Shops at Don Mills – Sat Jun 29 8pm

One of Cuba’s most talented arrangers and composers, Roberto Linares Brown began his career with Cuban groups Valentin y Los Del Caribe, Azucar Negra and Adalberto Alvarez. He was a catalyst for the creation of Lula Lounge’s popular Havana Norte series which has featured a who’s who of Toronto-based Cuban musicians. Linares Brown has been contributing to the series since 2006 performing original compositions that became the basis of his brilliant 2008 solo release, “Que No Se Pierda La Essencia”. After an extended tour of Europe in 2008,Roberto Linares Brown (aka El Seña’) returned to Canada – boasting new compositions and with a renewed desire to take Toronto’s salsa scene to the next level.

Nice outdoor concert setting at the Shops at Don Mills… !

TD Jazz Fest, some Cuban talent in the next 2 weeks

A nice summary from our friend Annette…

  • Havana To Toronto Live w/ Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo & Eddie Bullen
  • Fri Jun 21 10:00pm Club Series Free Admission
  • Dominion On Queen
  • Cafe Cubano
  • Fri Jun 21 10:30pm Club Series Free Admission
  • Lula Lounge
  • Alexander Brown Trio
  • Sat Jun 22 6:00pm   Free Admission
  • Distillery District – Pure Spirits Patio
  • Roberto Riberon Trio
  • Sun Jun 23 9:00pm Club Series $10 cover without dining
  • Latinada Tapas and Jazz Bar
  • Evaristo Machado
  • Tue Jun 25 9:00pm Club Series $10 cover without dining
  • Latinada Tapas and Jazz Bar
  • Hilario Duran And His Latin Jazz Big Band
  • Thu Jun 27 12:30pm   Free Admission
  • Toronto Star Stage at Nathan Phillips Square
  • Son Ache
  • Fri Jun 28 10:30pm Club Series $15 for whole night
  • Lula Lounge
  • Roberto Linares Brown Orchestra
  • Sat Jun 29 8:00pm   Free Admission
  • Shops at Don Mills