David Virelles, piano concert, Gallery 345: March 14

The owners of Gallery 345 found 2 excellent pianos available when York University disposed of them.  They brought them to the gallery and started using the place as a music venue as well as a gallery… based on these excellent instruments and the acoustics of the gallery.

Top pianists do pass the word about this kind of place … now, an invitation to play here is welcomed like few other places.  Already the list of past concerts here is impressive.

And David Virelles qualifies as one of the great musicians, by nature as well as training, you should try to hear at this place.

Like many of his generation in Cuba who study at the numerous academies of music, he was required to meet high standards mastering the classical theory and repertory.  And also absorbed the poly-rhythmic Afro-cuban heartbeat of music that suffuses Cuba.   When it became clear this young student was special even amongst the best Cuban musicians, Jane Bunnett sponsored him to come to Canada and complete his musical education with some solid Canadian credentials, at Humber College.

The Art of the Piano: David Virelles
Sunday March 14 at 3 PM

Continue reading David Virelles, piano concert, Gallery 345: March 14

Free Movie “How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”, Mar 2, Annette Library

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

A film on how Cuba responded to the challenges of peak oil in the 90’s. Followed by a discussion on creating a more local, low-energy society and addressing the challenges of climate change in our own neighbourhood.


When: Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm
Where: Annette Street Branch Library, 145 Annette St. (E of Pacific, W of Keele), Community Room 1

For more information:

Contact Name: Rita Bijons
Website: http://green13toronto.blogspot.com
Phone: 416 766 6331

Free Movie “Viva Cuba”, Feb 26, Tinto Coffee House

Viva Cuba kick-starts the Cuban Film series (by the CCFA Toronto) at Tinto.   Screenings will take place on the last Friday of the month, typically. This opening session will take place Friday, February 26 at 7 pm.

This 80 minute film was conceived as especially appropriate for an audience of children but is so well crafted that adults alike have enjoyed it worldwide.

Admittance is free of charge.

Tinto Coffee House
Fair Trade – Latin American – Organic
89 Roncesvalles Avenue  (north of Queen St West)
Toronto M6R 2K6
Ph/Fx 416-530-5885

NYT Review, La Charanga Habanera at SOB’s in New York

A New York Times Review is here, talking about hip-hop, and kinetic Caribbean rhythms.

And the Miami question is answered: after trying to side-step controversy, they changed the recorded song from Llorando en Miami… to Gozando en Miami.  What do they sing live in the US?  Looks like they remain true tothe original intent: “Llorando en Miami”. 😉

Less than two months til the Toronto date!

South Restaurant (Havana Nights) Ajax, Orlando Cardoso on Thursdays

AT the club called Havana Nights, in Ajax outside Toronto, they used to hire small bands… mostly Cuban band leaders… who used musicians mostly out of the talent pool of Cuban musicians around the GTA.  The Saturday Latin nights were quite popular.

Then they tried changing hats, to become a pure restaurant dropping the dance club role… hiring a notable chef… and renaming themselves “South Restaurant“.  But… now they are back to dance music, alternate Saturdays for now.  Orlando Cardoso’s 5 man band is holding the job right now.

NEW: every Thursday night, Cuban pianist and bandleader Orlando Cardoso and friends will be playing at the club’s Latin night, same place.

Changuito & Joaquin Hidalgo’s Rumberos, Lula Lounge, Mar 27

Joaquin has posted this event. .. Rumberos All Star Big Band with special visitor, Changuito.

The famous percussionist from Cuba… who has had personal impact on making the trademark sounds of the most famous dance bands of Cuba in this generation… like Los Van Van, and Pupy y Los Que Son, Son… Changuito.

The night begins with a latin jazz set at 8pm… followed by two full salsa sets later in the night.  Advance tickets available via Paypal, at Lula site.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Changuito trajo la paila, y con eso… quien no baila!

The Master Changuito in Toronto

Jalidan Ruiz | MySpace Music Videos

Eliades Ochoa, BV Social Club, Royal Theatre, Apr 23 and 24

UPDATE: Tickets on sale Tuesday March 2 at ticketmaster.

Billy Bryans posted this poster of Eliades Ochoa, and an earlier version of Buena Vista Social Club for a coming concert, April 23 and 24.

Information is sketchy so far, but we’ll keep you posted of what we hear!

A similar show, featuring some of the great classic talents of  Cuba including pianist Peruchin, and singers Las d’Aida was presented in the same space, in December 2008, I was lucky enough to be there.

So I (an admin here at CIT) can vouch for the fact: this is one of the best spaces in the world to see this kind of show.

The Royal is a classic theatre, completely renovated for comfort and for technical “state of the art” by a previous owner “Theatre D”, truly intimate by virtue of the original architect’s design… adds up to a night you will not forget.  I don’t think there is a venue in Cuba that could satisfy your senses as well as this one…

Well worth the price, expected to be $59.

Hansel & Gretel, Cuban National Ballet and the CBYE, Feb 26, Hamilton

A great ballet by one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Cuban National Ballet… the company led by Alicia Alonso for so long… presented together with the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble.

These two companies recently combined for a presentation of The Nutcracker by the Cuban international stars and by our local heroes at the world-famous Gran Teatro in Havana in January 2010

“It was standing room only. Tickets for all three performances sold out in one day. The Cuban public, among the most sophisticated ballet fans in the world, cheered enthusiastically and rewarded each performance with long, standing ovations. The Canadian children danced their hearts out and almost instantly became the darlings of the local and international media.”   (From a preview at Revista Debate.)

But tickets at ticketmaster.

Cuban filmmaker Enrique Colina, Wed Feb 24th 4 pm, U of T

Click for full-sized image

Cuban filmmaker will be speaking and showing some of his work in Toronto on Wednesday, February 24th 4:00 – 6:00 pm at:
Jackman Humanities Building, First Floor
170 St. George Street

Enrique Colina’s talk will offer an excellent opportunity to examine contemporary Cuban society through a screening of some of his documentaries:
a.. Vecinos/Neighbours, 1985 (14 min)
b.. Chapucerías/Botched Jobs, 1987 (11 min)
c.. Los Rusos en Cuba/Russians in Cuba, 2008 (excerpt) and more!
For further information the enclosed flyer attached !

Free and open to the public.

link to poster

Orlando Cardoso at South Restaurant Ajax, Sat Feb 13

El pianista rumbero Orlando Cardoso… coming to Ajax, South Restaurant with a 4 piece Cuban band… Cuban salsa, Latin music, and a house DJ.

A quiet dining set at 8 PM, then dance til midnight.

The restaurant is really the one known as Havana Nights…  same management… they just tried a name change for a while, along with hiring a big chef in town… and to go to food only.  Now they have snapped out of it, dancing is back.

El que vale, vale !  He’ll get off the stand to do a rumba, and a rueda de casino with anyone who’s ready… 😉

(YouTube video link)

Non-cuban: George Clinton, Phoenix Feb 14

Sometimes we’ll push a worthy non-Cuban event, with exceptional live music talent… like for example, George Clinton and P-Funk.

George Clinton and P FUNK in TORONTO!!
Phoenix Concert Theatre 410 Sherbourne street.

Sunday Feb 14, 8PM

Sophie says: A great show, George Clinton at the PhoeniX Valentine’s day.  We are going to invite some Cuban notables to get on stage and join the party of 35 musicians dancers and performance artists that will hit the stage this Sunday.  More: a Facebook event with pictures and links,  Interview, Wikipedia article.

Los Salvajes, Kelvis Ochoa, Leoni Torres: Lula, Tues Feb 9

LOS SALVAJES  – Havana’s #1 reggaeton crew, direct from Cuba.   PLUS also see   Kelvis Ochoa and Leoni Torres…

Both Havanarte Productions and CCFA Toronto are having a Fundraiser to send a 20 foot container to Cuba.  There will be 90 wheelchairs going to Havana hospitals and 96 Pentium computers going to the University of Havana.

Admission:  $20 for adults / $10 for seniors and students   – an all ages event

Monetary Donations given to help pay for the container can receive a charitable tax receipt.

Location:  Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St West  (just west of Dufferin).  Lula Lounge has generously donated the space for this event.

For info and to make dinner reservations:  416-588-0307 …  info@lula.ca, event

Other contacts: info : 647-403-7308, email :    havanarte@yahoo.com

website:   www.ccfatoronto.ca.

Town Inn Suites comes through for Charanga fans: the show Apr 10, 2010

April is coming… and with April comes… La Charanga Habanera… from the top of the music scene in Havana Cuba… to Toronto.

Things are coming together, everybody… and here’s a great deal for out-of-towners at the Town Inn Suites… the Hotel where all the cuban bands stay … TOWN INN suites on  Church street.   They have 2 bedroom suites with living room and kitchen  (sofa bed  in the living room + extra mattress in the closet) so that a larger  intimate group can share… e.g. 6  people can share !

Map of Hotel and route to Event


From the general manager:

For anyone interested in staying with us for that weekend, I can offer the following rates:

Junior Queen Suite $119
Junior Two Beds $129
Executive King Suites $139
Two Bedroom Suites $189

Make reservations by calling the hotel or by going on line. They will have to enter the promo code “GOZA” to get the rate.

Town Inn Suites Tel 416-964-3311  “An all Suites hotel for less than the price of a room”

Haiti aid: Hilario Durán benefit, Babaluu Sun Feb 7

Date: Sunday, February 7, 2010
Starting Time:

Everyone is doing their part to help Haiti after the devastation of this month’s earthquake, and we are no exception.

Two-time Juno Award Winner, Hilario Duran Trio and Babalúu Supperclub, will be hosting a concert in benefit of Haiti’s earthquake victims. It will be an intimate performance to guests, with all around great energy for all to just give the gift of giving.

There will be a silent auction. Full proceeds from the concert and the auction will go towards to the families affected by the devastation. For those interested in donating product, in kind, gift certificates or dollar amount towards the cause, please contact (416) 884 0097 and provide us with a detailed message, and a phone number we can contact you back at.

Attendees are encouraged to rsvp their spot in advance as it is a limited performance opportunity. Your presence will be appreciated.

Reminder: Tiempo Libre – Sat February 20

This two-time Grammy-nominated timba band from Cuba delivers high-energy party music with rapid-fire lyrics, timba rhythms, and a full horn section – irresistibly danceable! “Their new CD, Bach in Havana, blends Bach melodies from pieces such as the Mass in B Minor and the Well-Tempered Clavier with infectious Cuban rhythms including the cha-cha-cha, the son and the danzon.” (NPR Music)

Date:  Saturday February 20, 2010,  8 pm

Location:  Koerner Hall,  Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St W

Tickets: $20 – $50 available from rcmusic.ca

Note:  This is a beautiful new concert hall.  There will be designated areas for dancing during the concert and a cuban dance party afterwards with DJ Billy Bryans.   So come prepared to dance.

Vamos a guarachar!

Link to youtube video