Archive for April, 2012

Solidarity Rock, May 31 at Sneaky Dee’s

April 30th, 2012 No comments

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:

Read more…


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

April 30th, 2012 No comments
May ’12
8:00 pm

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

April 29th, 2012 1 comment

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

April 27th, 2012 No comments

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!


RIP Billy Bryans, in the foundation of Toronto Music

April 23rd, 2012 No comments

It’s a sea change that will rock Toronto music scene, and leave a big hole behind for years to come… that Billy Bryans has died today.

Here’s an excellent tribute at CBC where there is a proper appreciation of the man and his achievements.


New photos of Pupy, y Los que Son, Son

April 21st, 2012 No comments

New photos uploaded by the band to the Facebook page.

Check out the page.

And you DID get your tickets already I hope… 😉


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

April 18th, 2012 No comments

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

April 18th, 2012 No comments
Apr ’12
8:00 pm

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

April 17th, 2012 1 comment

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

April 16th, 2012 No comments
Jun ’12
8:00 pm

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 !