Portal de la Cultura de América Latina y el Caribe
African and Caribbean musical encounter in Havana with Malian Cherif Soumano and Cuban Rolando Luna
  Caribbean and African essence came together, between strings and techas, in the theatre of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

  Siguiente Vista de Noticias
1 December 2023/ UNESCO Havana

Virtuosity, originality and the essence of Africa and the Caribbean were combined, between strings and techas, in the theatre of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, by the Malian master of the kora, Cherif Soumano, and the outstanding Cuban pianist Rolando Luna, during the unique concert they gave on the evening of 29 November 2023, co-organised by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) in Cuba and UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of the 5th edition of the International Classical Music Festival Habana Clásica.

In a unique coupling, despite sharing the stage for the first time, the connection that emanated between them denoted the musical excellence of both artists in playing their instruments, Luna the piano and Soumano the kora, an ancestral Malian chordophone attributed with supernatural powers for more than eight centuries.

No matter the geographical or language distance between the two musicians, the audience enjoyed and vibrated with the marvellous work of Lecuona, or with the very Cuban Guantanamera, with the notes of pop hits, or with the sounds of Mother Africa.

Through a journey that went from jazz to African rhythms, passing through emblematic pieces of the Cuban and international pentagram and works by Rolando Luna himself, both virtuosos delighted the audience with extremely sensitive sonorities, the result of the fusion of the liveliness and vibrations of the kora with the elegant notes of the piano, in a magnificent pairing.

Marcos Madrigal and SDC Deputy Resident Director Lorenzo Suárez, together with the Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Culture, Anne Lemaistre, welcomed the opportunity to enjoy the art of instrumentalists of the stature of Cherif Soumano and Rolando Luna.

The concert was, as the organisers of Habana Clásica themselves predicted, a bridge between Africa and Latin America, through music, a journey, tinged with modern airs, from the Caribbean to the cradle of humanity.

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