A new Venue for Rumba Music in Cuba

Rumba Libre - Photo by Liban Rodriguez
Rumba Libre – Photo by Liban Rodriguez
A new space to promote rumba music was created in the southern central city of Cienfuegos, following an initiative of the Trazos Libres project, one of the groups included in the Cuban National Committee of the Slave Route: Resistance, Freedom and Heritage.

Rumba cienfueguera, reivindicación y patrimonio (Cienfuegos rumba, claim and heritage) is the name of the proposal from the Rumba Libre music jam, expected to take place each month on 62nd between 45th and 47th Streets, in a popular neighborhood from the city of Cienfuegos. The first presentation belonged to Ochareo group, one of the nine bands that play this musical genre in Cienfuegos.

The musicians from Ochareo, directed by Eduardo Santa Cruz, next to other local artists and neighbors from the community, interpreted themes from their repertoire, which include yambú, columbia and guaguancó.

While the drums were playing, painter Santiago Hermes draw in a canvas placed in the middle of the street, to join visual arts to this musical encounter.

Mary Cid Borrel, coordinator of Trazos Libres, informed to Cubarte this project joins the program to greet next August the Timbalaye International Festival, which the city of Cienfuegos will co-host for the first time.

Rumba is one of the most important expressions of our musical heritage. This is one of the reasons why it was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of our Nation in 2012.

According to the poet and ethnologist Miguel Barnet, this genre is an indissoluble part of the core essence of our identity and if you think of it, there is no need for anyone to remember its many heritage values.

Translation: Karen López (Cubarte)

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