Cuba’s first electronic music festival launches

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A kickstart campaign is underway to help Mañana Festival launch in Cuba in May 2016.

As the end of the US-Cuba embargo rears its head and President Obama and Raul Castro move towards establishing both economic and diplomatic ties between their two nations, a white canvas of cultural opportunity has presented itself within the fruitful confines of the Caribbean island.

Now, a British/Cuban non-profit organisation is offering up Cuba’s first festival committed to bringing together Afro-Cuban Folkloric masters and the global electronic music community. Whilst global tastemaker Gilles Peterson has done a lot of work shining a light on Cuba’s rich musical heritage – including the collaborative Mala In Cuba project and his Havana Cultura series – the festival offers up a rare opportunity to expose Cuba’s powerful blend of rhythm, flow and feeling to the rest of the world.

With a pledged goal of £40,000, Mañana Festival’s Kickstarter campaign is already a quarter of the way to its target, and has already been approved by the Cuban government to go ahead. Alongside bringing the worlds of Cuban folk and electronic music together through a carefully curated line-up and music workshops, seminars and talks, the festival also plans to provide access to courtyards, house parties, street carnivals and processions that give the city its musical soul.

There’s a long way still to go to ensure this festival goes ahead in May 2016, but a few names have been announced, which include Mala, Warp records duo Plaid and multi-instrumentalist Chico Mann. With Soundway, Sofrito and UK-based events organiser The Hydra already involved in the project, it look like great things are ahead for next year.

To find out more and support the project, head to the Mañana Festival Kickstarter page.

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