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Music

Revisiting Buena Vista's Ibrahim Ferrer

Ibrahim Ferrer's Buenos Hermanos is a thoroughly enjoyable, perfectly realized example of Afro-Cuban music's appeal.

Recent
Music

How We Made 'Buena Vista Social Club': Interview with Eliades Ochoa and Nick Gold

When the Buena Vista Social Club album came out in 1997, it had an indelible effect on the international community's perception of Cuba.

Books

Three Americans Visited Cuba...

Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn and Jody Eddy visited Cuba three times. Then they wrote a cookbook.

Music

Alfredo Rodríguez: The Invasion Parade

Alfredo Rodríguez keeps jazz flourishing on progressive sophomore LP The Invasion Parade.

Music

Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics: Cigarros Explosivos!

They need to either knock you dead with skill or else subvert the whole notion of skill.

Music

Various Artists: Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks Vol. 1

The blurb's argument about the quality of the city's migrant Cuban musicians is proven as Lula convinces you while the songs twitch their arses like beautiful metronomes.

Reviews

A Shot in the Dark and a Swift Retreat: 'Invisible Armies'

Throughout human history, guerrilla warfare (messy, sprawling, and hard-to-define) has been much more common than “conventional” conflict between standing armies, though we have been taught to believe the opposite.

Books

¡Viva la Revolución(s)! 'Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes'

If anything, Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes shows an author who is willing to stretch out and expand his palette, even as he grows well into his twilight years.

Reviews

'Chico & Rita' Is a Neon Nod to Old Hollywood

Nostalgia is at the heart of this film, starting with its compelling recreation of a storybook Havana that existed briefly between WWII and Fidel Castro’s revolutionary eruption at the dawn of the Jet Age.

Music

David Álvarez: Clandestino

He likes a tropicalia flute, his tres is an aid to meditation, and the keynote here (aside from Love) is Vocal Control.

Deanne Sole
Reviews

Hangin' with the New Bolivarians in Oliver Stone's 'South of the Border'

Oliver Stone has chosen to channel his 'radical' political leanings into his documentaries, and this film would seem to bear that out.

Music

Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband: Ceremony

Once again, Omar Sosa has produced a distinct take on world jazz while renewing his own exploratory project, all within the carefully orchestrated confines of ritual space and time-honored practice.

Music

Josh Rouse: El Turista

More postcards from a sunny exile. Far from the blue glow of melancholy, Rouse's music aims for glorious golden moments.

Music

Various Artists: Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba Vol.2

A theme like the one Zacks has chosen gives crate-digging an exceptional purpose, putting a non-Cuban audience in touch with music that might otherwise be lost to them, giving a shape to an idea that might otherwise sound like a non-sequitur.

Reviews

Fidel!

With unprecedented access to his subject and sources, Landau has managed to make one of the most intriguing films ever about a would-be world leader.

Music

Madera Limpia: La Corona

What looks like it would be a rap album with some Cuban touches turns out to be much more Cuban than expected.

Film

Guerrilla Patton

Soderbergh's supersized retelling of the Che Guevara legend is an uncomfortable mix of war procedural and unabashed hero worship; ingenious but flawed.

Music

Buena Vista Social Club: At Carnegie Hall

At Carnegie Hall staunchly carries with it the brand characteristics that launched this cultural exchange.

Music

Various: The Rough Guide to Cuban Street Party

The party atmosphere of Cuban Street Party doesn't rely on remixes, as it did in parts of African Street Party. It doesn't need them.

Books

The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa

The Bad Girl works better as a travelogue of Ricardo, the rootless intellect, than as a fabulist's tale of love gone sour right from the start.

Chris Barsanti
Books

The Boys From Dolores: Fidel Castros Classmates from Revolution to Exile by Patrick Symmes

Travel writer captures the essence of Fidel's school days in The Boys From Dolores.

Enrique Fernandez
Music

Papa Noel: Café Noir

Papa Noel's songs sound even more Cuban than you would expect from the doyen of a music scene inspired by Cubans.

News

Is Fidel Castro coming back?

Frances Robles
Music

The Silos: Cuba

John Kenyon
Film

Cuba (1979/2002)

The idea that an individual, like Robin Hood, could stand up for the rights of the oppressed comes across as a pleasant fantasy, worthy of song and legend, but devoid of the means to stand up against state power.

David Sanjek
Reviews
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