Music Bridges in Cuba (1999), as featured in Arts and Minds
History was made in Cuba-US relations, as more than 90 talented American, European, and Cuban artists and songwriters united in Havana, Cuba. In a groundbreaking collaboration, this project marked a pivotal moment in Cuban-US cultural relations. The event was organized in partnership with Cuba’s Instituto Cubano de la Musica and Ministerio de Cultura, and was licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, defying the constraints of the embargo.
Over a span of just five days, these remarkable artists crafted and recorded over 60 captivating songs. The grand finale took place at the iconic Karl Marx Theatre, where an electrifying free concert enthralled the audience. To top it off, the participants enjoyed an exclusive reception with Fidel Castro.
This extraordinary endeavor attracted a star-studded lineup including Burt Bacharach, Gladys Knight, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Buck (REM), Bonnie Raitt, Woody Harrelson, Dave Koz, Jimmy Buffett, Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers (The Police), Peter Frampton, Duncan Sheik, Indigo Girls, Lisa Loeb, and Don Was. On the Cuban side, the luminaries included Chuco Valdés, Alberto Tosca, Carlos Varela, and members of acclaimed bands such as The Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van, Sintesis, and NG La Banda.
The ongoing political stalemate between Cuba and the USA at the time was a perfect backdrop for our people to people exchange that generated a tremendous amount of global media awareness in showing what was possible when 125 total songwriters and artists from two cultures in conflict worked together with guitars and pianos instead of guns, weapons, or anger.
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