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2014 Drum Fiesta kicked off in Cuba

The 13th Guillermo Barreto in Memoriam Drum Festival for 2014 began in Havana, where Cuban and international percussionists are paying homage to José Luis Quintana, better known as Changuito.

The opening performance included young Cuban musicians, joined by artists, Aldo Mazza, from Canada and Swiss-American musician, Jojo Mayer, with a remarkable career as a battery player, who attends the event for the first time. Festival Organizing Committee President, Cuban musician, Giraldo Piloto, has described the drum festival as a permanent drum gathering dedicated to the drum, an instrument that is at the root of Cuban music.

Guillermo Barreto (1929-1991), was one of Cuba’s best known percussionists, and accompanied with his drums US singer Nat King Cole and taped records with the Cuban bands of Benny Moré (1919-1963) and Chico O'Farrill (1921-2001), who resided in the United States since the 1940’s.

The Drum Festival will run until March 16th and will also celebrate the 75th birthday of renowned Cuban musician, Leo Brouwer, the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s EGREM record label, and the second anniversary of the Cuban folk band Barranrrá. Running parallel to the event is the International 2014 Drum Competition in different percussion instruments, such as the battery, the drums, the bongos and the bata drums. The encounter includes master classes, dance and jazz music concerts and, for the first time, an international “casino” dance competition.
Edited by Damian Donestevez
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