UNESCO adds Cuban rumba, Belgian beer to list of world’s ‘intangible’ heritage – France 24


Cuba’s sensual rumba dance and Belgium’s thriving beer culture brought a new exuberance to UNESCO’s prestigious list of “intangible” heritage on Wednesday.

The UN body gave the nod to the rumba, which it said evokes “grace, sensuality and joy”, while it said “making and appreciating beer is part of the living heritage… throughout Belgium,” which has more than 1,500 types.

The Cuban delegation to UNESCO talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa dedicated the rumba’s selection to longtime leader Fidel Castro, who died on Friday aged 90.

UNESCO said the rumba sprang from poor communities where the dance is an enduring “expression of resistance and self-esteem”.

Belgium meanwhile toasted the recognition, with French-speaking culture minister Alda Greoli noting that the country’s beer culture “has been handed down from generation to generation since time immemorial”.

Belgian beer’s “communal identity resulted in… an explosion of artisanal creativity and love for the brewing craft,” she said.

Her Flemish-speaking counterpart Sven Gatz said Belgium had won “the world cup of beer culture,” calling the nomination a “very nice reward for everyone who works in the sector”.

Whether Belgians drink beer to quench their thirst “after an exhilarating walk, during a friendly evening in the local pub, or as part of our gastronomy,” he said, “we have a suitable beer for every occasion”.

Belgium’s minority German-speaking community, which submitted the application, also hailed the nomination, saying it would “give Belgian beer culture even more gloss… around the world.”

The listing was “a reward for (Belgian enthusiasts’) efforts… to keep this rich beer culture alive,” it said in a statement.

Staying on the festive theme, the World Heritage Committee also enshrined the new year’s celebrations of 12 countries stretching from Turkey to India that fall on the March 21 vernal equinox and known as Nowruz in Iran.

The list of “intangible” cultural treasures was created 10 years ago, mainly to increase awareness about them, while UNESCO also sometimes offers financial or technical support to countries struggling to protect them.

On Tuesday, the UN body designated Ugandan traditional music, which is dying out partly because it requires materials from endangered species, as intangible heritage “in urgent need of safeguarding”.

UNESCO began compiling a list for cultural and natural world heritage — physical properties such as Cambodia’s Angkor Wat or the Grand Canyon in the United States — in 1972.

The list now comprises 814 cultural sites, 203 natural ones and 35 with both natural and cultural qualities such as Australia’s Uluru National Park, formerly known as Ayer’s Rock.

The committee winds up its review of nominations to the Representative Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list on Thursday.






Felicita Raúl a la UNEAC por su aniversario – Radio Reloj

En el Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, se desarrolló el espectáculo, que dedicado al cumpleaños 90 de Fidel, tuvo como hilo conductor poemas del primer presidente de la UNEAC, Nicolás Guillén.

Regalaron su arte, entre otros, el Coro y el Ballet Nacional de Cuba, la compañía Ecos, el Trío Lecuona, Yoruba Andabo y el Septeto Nacional.

via Felicita Raúl a la UNEAC por su aniversario – Radio Reloj


Timbalaye: Rumba grande entre La Habana y Matanzas › Cultura › Granma – Órgano oficial del PCC


El teatro América, a las 8:30 p.m., servirá de escenario para el homenaje a Benny Moré, en el aniversario 97 de su natalicio. Este concierto contará con la actuación de Mundito Gon­zález, Martha Anglada, Sixto El In­dio, el Conjunto Chapottín, Yoru­ba Andabo y el Grupo Folklórico de México Antorchas Campesinas, en­tre otros.

How this Cuban dancer is honoring his legendary dad | New York Post


Stevie Insua is one of the most popular instructors at Alvin Ailey, where he teaches Afro-Cuban dance on Friday nights to the general public. It doesn’t matter that the 40-year-old barely speaks English — as he whips his long braids and demonstrates the proper way to do a cha-cha step, you can feel the room shed its collective inhibition.

“My father was a dance teacher, so it’s in my blood,” the Havana-born Insua tells The Post in Spanish. “He had me do my first performance when I was 4 years old. I danced the rumba onstage while holding these two lit candles — without getting burned!”

His father was the legendary Felix “Pupy” Insua, who performed all over the world and who was brought to New York City by “Mambo King” Eddie Torres to teach his troupe how to dance authentic Cuban salsa. Insua now has his father’s old job, teaching traditional Afro-Cuban dance at Ailey Extension, which provides classes to the entire New York City community.

Insua was born in 1976 in the artist and worker community Cayo Hueso in Havana. His mother was a flamenco dancer and singer, and for a while she performed with Insua’s father, before Stevie came along.

via How this Cuban dancer is honoring his legendary dad | New York Post

Old Havana or old Havana? – Havana Times.org

HAVANA TIMES — Many foreigners long to visit Old Havana and the majority of Cubans do as well. Every year, millions of tourists walk along its cobblestones, enjoying the best attractions, hotels and attractions the city has to offer. This is the Havana we find in guide books, on websites, labelled “exotic, interesting”: a place you have to go to at least once in your life. This is Old Havana, the beautiful Havana.

Founded in 1519 and baptized San Cristobal de La Habana in honor of Havana’s patron saint, the city owes its name to the chief Habaguanex who controlled the area in the years leading up to its colonization. Today, it is our capital and the most populated city in Cuba and the Caribbean islands as it has 2,125,320 inhabitants (2015).

It’s history is as old as its architecture.

via Old Havana or old Havana? – Havana Times.org

07/17 | Batá and Rumba Drumming (Cuba) Concert w/Contemporary Music Project

An afternoon of Cuban style drumming from the Contemporary Music Project.  Learn more about these unique styles, and feel like you are being transported to Cuba.Batá are the most sacred drums of the Lucumí — the Yoruba people in Cuba. Their rhythms invoke the melodies and harmonies of a lost and distant world. When played with their many songs, the batá are a musical bridge to a universe where rhythms speak words and the drum is the voice of a god.Rumba drumming is the key to the Cuban soul, the voice of the street, and a celebration in song, dance, and drum. It is the newspaper, a way of spreading knowledge, a form of social resistance, and a comment on daily life. Its driving rhythms and lilting songs ring with the spirit of the island.Contemporary Music Project’s director Don Skoog is a musician, teacher, and writer who lives in Oak Park.  He gigs on drumset, Latin percussion, Marimba, and Flamenco cajon. He founded the Project in 1982, and has traveled to Cuba numerous times.

Source: 07/17 | Batá and Rumba Drumming (Cuba) Concert w/Contemporary Music Project

Yoruba Andabo is proud to announce its new director Didiel Armando Acosta Mitjans!

Didiel Mitjans Acosta was elected by Yoruba Andabo artists as the new director of the company, after the death of Master Geovani del Pino, founder director.



MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, June 27, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ — Yoruba Andabo welcomes its new director!
Percussionist and singer, Didiel Acosta Mitjans began his career at age 11 with the Cuban children’s group Pequeñas raíces de Aña. In high school he studied music theory and has been a member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) since 2011.

Between 1999 and 2008 he was part of the group Los Ibeyes. He has participated as a percussionist in phonograms “The story of Chano Pozo” held in France, 2003 and in the version made by the EGREM in 2005. He performed in the show “The story of Chano Pozo” of the group Pequeñas raíces de Aña, which appeared in theaters in Havana, Venezuela, Denmark and France, and as a musician in Los Ibeyes, in important Cuban theaters such as the “America,” “ Mella, “Terry” and the “Karl Marx.”

In the middle of 2008, he joined the company Yoruba Andabo as the major solo percussionist and singer, providing synchronizing or backing vocals. At the end of 2012 he was promoted to musical director. With Yoruba Andabo, he has performed in theaters and various places national shows, at the Concert for Peace in Cubadisco Festival Drum, Tour of Cuba and Timbalaye International Festival.

In 2009, he was part of the show “Yoruba Andabo: Rumba in Havana,” which was presented at the Barbican Center (London) and in Colombia as well as in Belo Horizontes and Sao Paulo (Brazil) in 2010.
In 2011, with the release of “Yoruba Andabo, The Spirit of the Rumba,” the same year led him to French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and the company was invited to the important Festival of Bergen (Norway) and Paris, jointly playing a concert with Iranian percussionists.

In 2011, Didiel participated in the recording of the album “Yoruba Andabo, The Spirit of the Rumba,” licensed by Bis Music. By continuing the same performance standards as musical director of the band on the album “Soy de la Tierra Brava,” the famed group was recently awarded the Cubadisco 2016 Award.

From 2011 to date, Didiel Acosta Mitjans has participated in dozens of concerts of Yoruba Andabo in Venezuela, Norway, France, Austria, French Guiana, Guadeloupe and the US. He has taught percussion workshops in academic and cultural institutions in Cuba, Europe and Latin America.

Yoruba Andabo en Cuba Music – iTunes – Amazon – Spotify:


Google+ Yoruba Andabo Official Page







YouTube Channel; Yoruba Andabo Official Page



via Yoruba Andabo is proud to announce its new director Didiel Armando Acosta Mitjans!

Rhythm in Your Blood: Meet the Young Artists Keeping Cuba’s Traditional Music Alive | Pitchfork

via Rhythm in Your Blood: Meet the Young Artists Keeping Cuba’s Traditional Music Alive | Pitchfork



The seed of all Cuban music can be found in rumba, a combination of textures that interlock and play out through polyrhythmic percussion, dance, and song. The distinct sound, anchored by clave sticks, a wooden cylindrical hi-hat of sorts called the catá, and a trio of conga drums of different pitches, has not only molded genres within the country but also fanned out worldwide to touch everything from jazz, to disco, to funk. To rumberos—Cuban street drummers—rumba is as all-encompassing as life itself.

“It’s an expression of Cuban style,” says Geovani del Pino, the 73-year-old director of Yoruba Andabo, the Latin Grammy-winning 15-piece band that has been fundamental in representing rumba internationally. “I don’t think that someone who calls themselves Cuban feels a conga without his feet moving.”

Although considered to be secular music, rumba retains a significant overlap with elements of Afro-Cuban religions such as Santeria, Palo, and Abukuá, born from traditions and rituals brought over by slaves on ships from Africa centuries ago. And similarly to spoken language, rumba doesn’t stand still. It evolves, reflecting moments through time as it progresses. More traditional musicians stay closer to its form and ritualistic uses, leaving younger artists to experiment, twist, and pull the rhythms.