Solidarity Rock, May 31 at Sneaky Dee’s

We received this note from Todd Keast:

I’ve recently gotten involved with a group supporting the emerging rock &
roll scene and freedom of expression in Cuba.  We are doing the first
Toronto benefit show May 31st at Sneaky Dee’s.  Solidarity Rock, is
involved with sending instruments, equipment, bands, sound engineers and
DIY ideas to Cuba.  Cuban bands get the opportunity to tour in Canada!

I am contacting you with the hope of connecting the Toronto Cuban community
with Solidarity Rock.  If you know any people, bands or groups in the Cuban
community that may be interested in Rock and Roll let me know!

Here is the Facebook event with some more details..

I suppose they are likely in touch with Elmer Ferrer:

Continue reading Solidarity Rock, May 31 at Sneaky Dee’s

Special: Cafe Cubano, Tipica Toronto, Alithea Cameron – Fri May 4

Look at all this entertainment, at a regular price, and a good cause is being served too!

Jorge Maza gathers an all star line up of Toronto salsa talent to raise money to assist with immigration legal fees for members of Toronto’s musical community. With Tipica Toronto, Cafe Cubano and an early set by Alithea Cameron. Come out and support the musicians that make our city’s vibrant salsa scene possible. Lula is proud to host this event and will donate all revenue from ticket sales and cover charge to support the cause.

Join us our weekly tropical dance party with salsa lesson, live band and DJ spinning the hottest dance floor-friendly salsa, bachata, reggaeton and top 40 hits. Cover is just $15 at the door or book a table for our dinner special. Admission includes our 9:30 PM beginner dance lesson which is followed dancing all night long!

Arrive early and enjoy Lula’s famous dinner and show package. The three course prix fixe special includes choice of appetizer, main, and dessert as well as the dance lesson and all entertainment. Starting at just $49 per person, the dinner special guarantees seating for the whole evening. We can accommodate a small intimate dinner or large parties! Check out Lula’s distinctive tropical fusion menu here.

You don’t need a partner to enjoy our beginner salsa lesson! Featuring Toronto’s top instructors, the class will lead beginners through the salsa basics while more experienced dancers warm up for the best salsa party in town. Vladimir will be teaching tonight.

With Tipica Toronto, Cafe Cubano and an early set by Alithea Cameron. Combining the sound of the tres guitar with two violins and a cello in a style known as charanga francesca, Tipica Toronto perform a salsa-based repertoire that reflects the grand continuum of Cuban dance music that has evolved since the 1950s. With their potent blend of dance floor-friendly salsa and high-energy showmanship, Cafe Cubano evoke the spirit of the legendary dance clubs of Havana.

Suave is undeniably one of Toronto’s most versatile and talented DJs. With over ten years of professional experience, Dj Suave has worked extensively with the prominent DJ company Veriation Music and attended Scratch Lab DJ Institute, further developing his mastery of the complex art of the turntable.

Door time: 7PM
Alithea Cameron: 8PM
Dance Lesson: 9:30 PM with Vladimir
Live Band: 10:30 PM
Admission: $15
Reserve: 416-588-0307 or

Billy Bryans Day in Toronto: Sun May 6

Billy Bryans at Havana Cultura

Sunday, May 6 will be Billy Bryans’ Day in Toronto.

The events will begin with a drum procession along Queen Street West, starting at 3:30 at Grange Park, stopping a various venues from Billy’s career, and finishing at the Cameron.

Then the action shifts to Lula Lounge for a memorial/celebration of Billy’s life (this is not a traditional funeral), with a service beginning at 6 p.m. followed by a musical program at 7.

More details to follow. Hope to see everyone there.

Timbalive, in Syracuse May 5

Got this from the promoters … and to answer the question, NO… we don’t mind promoting this band or this event.  TimbaLive is quite clearly… in the opinion of 1 admin here anyway ;-)… the VERY BEST of the Timba bands that are based outside Cuba.

Before you ask: click here to see what the trip looks like, 4.5 hours across the border:

From the promoters:

IT’S OFFICIAL:  World famous all-Cuban orchestra “TIMBALIVE
in concert at BALLYBAY, Syracuse, for Cinco de Mayo!

After MANY months of negotiations, we finally did it…we booked TIMBALIVE! Lafamilia de la Salsa, in cooperation with AmeriCU Credit Union, are bringing one of the TOP Cuban Salsa orchestras in the WORLD to Syracuse for Cinco de Mayo!  They come to us just one day after their much anticipated concert in New York City and just prior to their European and South American tours.  

Check out TIMBALIVE’s website at

Tickets are on sale now for $23 in advance and $33 at the door and can be purchased at the La Familia Website – homepage by scrolling down to the “Buy Now” button.  Tickets can also be purchased at any of our classes [IN SYRACUSE], or at Havana Nights or Metro in Syracuse!

Ticket sales will be limited so get yours early!  And get this: all proceeds go to the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County!

So many friends have asked me what it’s like to see a live band in Havana…WELL THIS IS IT!!!
Saturday, May 5th … 10pm – 2am (band performs from 11pm – 1:30am)
Location: Ballybay Pub/Nightclub, 550 Richmond Ave, Syracuse, NY 13204
Tickets: $23 in advance, $33 at the door.

All proceeds go to the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County

Purchase tickets at the La Familia Website – homepage by scrolling down to the “Buy Now” button or at any of our events

Sponsored by our friends at AmeriCU Credit Union!

El árbol de las fresas – Cuban movie – Fri Apr 20 7 PM

El árbol de las fresas

(The Strawberry Tree)

Simone Rapisarda Casanova

Canada/Cuba, 2011, video, 71 min

Film screening at the Images Festival

Friday April 20, 7 PM

  • Jackman Hall
  • 317 Dundas Street West
  • McCaul Street entrance
  • Admission: $10 general/
  • $5 members, students, seniors

Less than a month after Simone Rapisarda Casanova completed shooting in Juan Antonio, a village on Cuba’s North Eastern coast, the place was wiped out by a hurricane. Thus El árbol de las fresas begins with four of the now displaced former inhabitants reminiscing about their home and what they have lost. Eschewing drama and pathos, the opening sets the tone for what is an unusual documentary; the subjects often address the camera directly and even tease the filmmaker. In doing so they disrupt the usual relationship between viewer and subject in a playful way that allows both the viewer and the viewed to share equally in the filmmaking process.

The film observes two families, Silva Ocampo and Silva Vidal, as they perform daily tasks, grinding coffee, mending nets, fixing a flat tire (in a particularly unique way) as well as preparing for the start of the fishing season and the celebration of Children’s Day. Rapisarda Casanova knows how to frame a scene, and cleverly uses the limitations of his digital camera to provide a grainy sun bleached portrait of the place where Christopher Columbus is said to have first landed in the New World in 1492. Since then, the traits and traditions of the indigenous Taíno population have integrated with those of the Spanish colonizers, resulting in a culture of resourcefulness, wit and resilience. Despite the apparently modest living conditions in Juan Antonio, Rapisarda Casanova has created an enduring document of a rich and beautiful life and of a people who won’t soon be forgotten.

by Canadian director
Simone Rapisarda Casanova

Buy tickets on this web page.

The festival’s 25th ANNIVERSARY!  >>>> 12-21 April 2012 >>>>

Canada’s largest annual forum for independent film is a…spring break from normal movies, a mental refreshment and a psychological re-orientation towards the mainstream of image-making.” – Liam Lacey, The Globe & Mail

Salsa Klimax – Sat Apr 21 – Afro Latino DC

From AfroLatino Dance Co:

“Our last **SALSA KLIMAX** party was a major, steamy HIT – thanks to your energy and passion!! Join us Saturday, APRIL 21 @ 8pm for another HOTTT Salsa Klimax partaay! ”

901 Yonge Street (one block south of Rosedale stn; walking distance north of Bloor)

$7 cover includes:
~ Free Refreshments
~ Free Dance Lesson (different content each month)
~ Intermissions: fun and easy-to-follow SUELTAS & RUEDAS
~ DJ YumaNiche (spinning hot Timba & Salsa (+ splashes of Reggaeton, Bachata, Kizomba and more!!!!)

Last time DJ YumaNiche left you wanting more…come and get it April 21.


Comment on concert last night – Rodrigo y Gabriela

Last night as a great show, attended by one of the admins here… Rodrigo y Gabriela, with C.U.B.A.  Headed into their biggest tour yet.

Announcement of Massey Hall date

Tour ahead

Here’s a review of the new CD from The Guardian by Robin Denselow:

The Mexican guitar heroes have moved on, in style. On the last couple of occasions I’ve seen Rodrigo y Gabriela, they were technically brilliant but repetitive, relying too much on rapid-fire riffs and guitar noodling. Their last studio album, 11:11, showed them exploring added instrumentation, and now comes their most unexpected work to date, a classy, varied and upbeat set in which Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero are joined by a 13-piece Cuban orchestra featuring members of Los Van Van, and guests from around the world, including the Indian sitar star Anoushka Shankar and Palestinian oud virtuosos Le Trio Joubran.

It’s a brave new approach from a duo who have enjoyed an extraordinary career, playing heavy metal in Mexico City before switching to acoustic guitars and mixing Latin, rock and jazzinfluences into their compositions, then moving to Dublin as buskers before touring the world and selling more than 1m albums. They are helped here by the veteran producer Peter Asher and pianist/arranger Alex Wilson, a specialist in Latin and African styles, who provided orchestral arrangements that still allow room for elaborate guitar solos. There is no new material, but rather a complete re-working of instrumental pieces that appeared on their first and latest studio albums. Tunes such as Tamacun may seem over-worked (after all, it appeared on their debut set, then on two of their live albums) but here it is transformed thanks to the tight, attacking brass work. Elsewhere there’s a salsa–flavoured treatment of Hanuman, and a new version of Ixtapa that eases from Spain to India (thanks to a fine solo from Shankar) and on to Cuban jazz. Then there’s the slow and drifting Logos, helped by the bass work of Spain’s flamenco and jazz virtuoso Carles Benavent, and a treatment of 11:11 that switches from Pink Floyd-influenced guitar work to Cuban folk song. An impressive departure – just when it was needed.

Telmary at Luminato… Fri Jun 15, David Pecaut Square

Telmary (8:00PM)

Havana’s foremost female rapper and jazz poet, actress-musician Telmary Diaz began her career with the band Free Hole Negro before joining the collective Interactivo, featuring the biggest names on Cuba’s alternative music scene. Now based in Toronto, Telmary has deeply enriched the local music scene with her intoxicating blend of theatre, rap and poetry. An international headliner, she also contributed to Grammy-nominated saxophonist, flutist and bandleader Jane Bunnett’s acclaimed Global Divas and Embracing Voices projects.

David Pecault Square 55 John St.

A diario… The woman is a giant of street poetry and music… still underground, due to the  language barrier for the natives of Toronto !

SALSA KLIMAX Dance – Sat April 21 – at AfroLatino Dance Co

It’s at 901 Yonge Street (one block south of Rosedale stn; walking distance north of Bloor).

It’s more SALSA KLIMAX!!! Saturday, APRIL 21, 2012 @ 8pm to Midnight.

$7 cover includes:

  • Free Refreshments
  • Free Dance Lesson (different content each month)
  • Intermissions: fun and easy-to-follow SUELTAS & RUEDAS
  • DJ YumaNiche (spinning hot Timba & Salsa (+ splashes of Reggaeton, Bachata, Kizomba and more!!!!)

Last time DJ YumaNiche left you wanting more…come and get it April 21.


Rumbón para Billy – Thu Apr 19 2012, Lula Lounge, a big deal


What could bring acclaimed Cuban music artist Alex Cuba here to Toronto from Vancouver… to perform for free… on very short notice?

The answer is, a benefit for one of the most loved entertainment personalities in Canada.  Billy Bryans has the support of the top entertainment people in Toronto and across Canada, and he needs your support too.

Even if you wouldn’t know Billy to see him, if you have at any Cuban music based event… a little bit of the credit for all of it belongs to him.  No-one has done more to make the scene what it is today.

From his stint as drummer with Parachute Club, to Brazilian music support, to Cuban music support, and much more… Billy has done it all in this town.

All proceeds will go to help with the costs of palliative care for Bryans as he deals with cancer for the second time.

Toronto Sun:

“We’re really touched and amazed by how many musicians, dancers and producers are stepping forward to contribute — some who know Billy from 40 years ago and some from groups that Billy only started working with since his first round of cancer five years ago,” Lula Lounge’s Tracy Jenkins tells me. “The benefit is also a way for us to connect with all the other people in his world and to show him our love and appreciation.

The show is posted here, set for Lula Lounge Thursday evening April 19, 2012.

Confirmed performers include Alex Cuba, Laura Fernandez, Aline Morales, Samba Squad, Son Ache and dance troupes Bailaboogaloo and Casineros Unidos.

And if you can’t go, you can pay a little bit back to Billy for what he has done, by buying a ticket (click on the date), and sending an email to… to say that you won’t be able to come to the show, but please make sure the proceeds of your tickets go to help Billy.  They’ll be able to sell the seat again to someone else who wants to help…

Eliades Ochoa, Opera House Sat Apr 28 POSTPONED

We have just received notice that this concert is POSTPONED:

Due to a recent conflict with tour dates and traveling schedule, Eliades Ochoa’s upcoming shows in Canada will be postponed until late Fall, 2012.

NEW concert dates will be announced shortly in all (3) cities, Montreal, Ottawa/Gatineau and Toronto, Canada.

Full refunds are available at all Ticketmaster locations, any recent ticket purchase WILL BE HONOURED at the future show date to be announced shortly in the selected city.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Or maybe… Parece Mentira… Pupy’s new songs

… how to pick the best song on Pupy’s new CD… songs we will be hearing live at Pupy’s concert May 19 in Toronto

Those who long for the old days of straight Cuban tumbao, almost a “son” feel… long before reggaeton… might find this one appeals the most… Parece Mentira, originally done when Pupy was with Los Van Van, and sung by Angel Bonne.  Revised version is very solid, very traditional, sung be El Noro!

Havana Nights Party – Lambadina Lounge – Sat Apr 14

Casineros Unidos presents….

Lambadina Lounge is once again hosting our Havana Nights salsa party on Saturday, April 14th, from 9PM – 2AM.

Check out this great venue at

– Your favourite DJ BERNAL will be spinning the best in timba, salsa, reggaeton and more!

– Come early at 9PM to enjoy rueda led by Trevor and our friends at the Toronto Casino Rueda Practice.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 14, 9pm-2am

Location: Lambadina Lounge, 875 Bloor Street West, on the corner of Bloor and Ossington (Right at Ossington Station)

Cover: $5 before 10PM and $10 after 10PM

Aqui el que baila gana!!

Jane Bunnett, Spirit of Music – instruments for Cuban schools – Hugh’s Room Apr 11

Hugh’s Room

Wednesday April 11, 2012

Tickets: $25 Advance/$27.50 Door (includes HST)

Performance: 8:30pm

Request a reservation

Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana , Molly Johnson, Hilario Duran, Joaquin Hidalgo’s Rumba Square, Heavyweights Brass Band and many more !

Star studded party to raise money for Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer’s ” Spirit of Music” project/charity.

As part of this year’s 30th anniversary of Jane Bunnett’s 30 years of Cuban exploration, one again, Jane and crew are raising funds and instruments for Cuban inspiring music conservatories.

For more than 20 years Jane, friends and repair crew have have been visiting schools across the island, taking donated and bought musical insruments, supplies, spare parts and music directly to the student who need them.

With some of the most gifted repair technicians in Canada ,we set up a mini repair shop in a school for a week. The students get to see their damaged instruments fixed while learning basic repairs.

At the same time we offer workshops and master classes in Jazz and Classical music . At the end of the week, the students whose instruments are beyond repair receive a new or high quality used one.

Please come out and support this wonderful event on April 11th at Hugh’s Room. Also if you would like to donate any funds, instruments or anything musical please contact Jane at

To view Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer’s ” Spirit of Music” project/charity video please click!

Alain Perez – Ignacio Berroa – Hilario Duran – more – Lula, Thu May 17

Doors 7 PM
Alain Perez, Robi Botos, Mario Allende 8PM

Ignacio Berroa, Hilario Duran, Roberto Occhipinti, Luis Deniz 10 PM

Tickets:  $15 adv / $20 door
Dinner menu available or 416 588 0307 or use the OpenTable reservation system. Dinner reservations guarantee seating.


Don’t miss the most exciting night for latin jazz in Toronto this year.

LULAWORLD presents two concerts by two international guests — Cuban jazz greats Alain Perez and Ignacio Berroa. At 8pm, Perez, one of the most in demand Cuban bassists performing and recording today is joined by two stellar Toronto based musicians – Robi Botos on piano and Mario Allende on percussion. Our second concert features Cuban jazz legend Ignacio Berroa with our own local treasures Hilario Duran (piano), Roberto Occhipinti (bass) and Luis Deniz (sax).

Paquito d’Rivera joins Hilario Duran Big band – Sat May 5, Koerner Hall

Grammy Award-winning sax master Paquito D’Rivera joins internationally renowned pianist and arranger Hilario Durán with his big band of 20 stellar Latin jazz artists. One of the world’s most innovative creators of Afro-Cuban music and Latin jazz, Latin Jazz Corner wrote that Hilario Durán is one of the world’s “contemporary Cuban pianists that moved jazz into the 21st century.”

Please join us in the lobby after the concert for a Postlude Performance by The Patrick O’Reilly Trio.

Saturday May 5, 2012
Koerner Hall
Price starting at $39.00

Please join us in the lobby after the concert for a Postlude Performance by The Patrick O’Reilly Trio.    Saturday May 5, 2012Koerner HallPrice starting at $39.00

Grammy Award-winning sax master Paquito D’Rivera joins internationally renowned pianist and arranger Hilario Durán with his big band of 20 stellar Latin jazz artists. One of the world’s most innovative creators of Afro-Cuban music and Latin jazz, Latin Jazz Corner wrote that Hilario Durán is one of the world’s “contemporary Cuban pianists that moved jazz into the 21st century.”

Rumbón para Billy Bryans – Lula, Apr 19

Toronto’s musical communities come out in force to support and celebrate Billy Bryans.

Throughout his 40-year career, Billy Bryans has enriched and supported numerous musical genres and communities in Toronto. From his early years as producer of the Downchild Blues Band and as the drummer for Parachute Club through to his work with Toronto’s African, Cuban and Brazilian groups (as a presenter, musician, DJ,  producer and publicist) Billy has helped transform and diversify Canada’s musical culture.

Other artists that Billy has worked include Dutch Mason, Raffi, Horn, Eyuphuro, Aline Morales, Laura Fernandez, Telmary and Alberto Alberto to name just a few.

Confirmed performers for this evening’s fundraiser include Laura Fernandez, Blue Basin, Aline Morales, Samba Squad and Son Ache. Look for dance performances by Bailaboogaloo and Casineros. The party goes all night with musicians and audiences from all walks of Toronto’s musical  life coming together to shout out (and we hope shell out) to show Billy the love.

All proceeds will go to help with the costs of palliative care for Billy as he deals with cancer for the second time.

Doors @ 7pm, performances begin at 8pm, $20 suggested donation.

Silent auction items will include tickets to some of the hottest shows in Toronto this spring and summer. Full list of silent auction items coming soon.

Majestic Tropical Carnival – Apr 21

On behalf of Daniel Morano de La Guia Hispana… here’s information about the Majestic Tropical Carnival on April 21, 2012 at 8 pm… at the Ukrainian Hall in Toronto.

Majestic Tropical Carnival
Presentación especial de Yeyo Vargas, del programa de Alexis Valdés

Sábado 21 de abril, 2012

Ukrainian Hall
85 Christie Street (al norte de Bloor)

Invitados especiales:

  • Avana
  • Eri White
  • Hector Hernández
  • Presentación estelar deYeyo Vargas, el humorista número 1 del programa de Alexis Valdés

Tickets: $25 adelantado, $30 en la puerta.

Más información: (416)418-4725

Venta de Entradas:


La Cubanita Restaurante
9 Milvan Dr. Tel. 416-849-9766

Cellular Pro
1740 Jane St. Tel 416-249-7200

Toronto Latino
1786 Eglinton Ave. W. Tel 416-781-0919


Cafe Latino
3038 Hurontario St. Tel. 905-949-8447

Fanery’s Convenience
3085 Hurontario St. Unit 9 Tel. 905-272-9257


La Favorita
18 Queen St. W. Tel. 905-845-9262

Editorial comment: we have received criticism of the poster for this event… and have to agree: the use of black-face can’t be accepted as simple cultural difference.   It is actually offensive by normal North American standards.   We are relaying the news as it is… but with our comments.

Blackface is never OKAY.