Síntesis, founded in the 1960s, has participated in many of the developments of modern Cuban music. The lead singers, Carlos Alfonso and Ele Valdes, are among the most sought-after session singers in Havana (that's them on Adalberto Alvarez's "Dale Como E'," the biggest Cuban street hit of 1993.) In 1987 they recorded their groundbreaking album ANCESTROS, one of the most honored albums of the modern era in Cuba.
See their web site at www.gruposintesis.com
Special Presentation Especial by Sintesis at the Casa de la Musica EGREM, calle Galiano, Centro Habana
11/9/03 4PM to 7PM www.gruposintesis.com
Carlos Alfonso/X Alfonso, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is part of the FIESTA DEL TAMBOR 2002 (HAVANA DRUMS FESTIVAL)
|Fri. August 6 - La Peña, Berkeley, CA
Concert: Direct from Cuba: Sintesis. The acclaimed fusion band arrives from Havana for their first Bay Area appearance. Their unique musical style blends traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms and Yoruban chants with rock, rap and more. 8:30pm $15 in advance. $18 at the door.
La Peña Cultural Center
|Two Cuban Musicians Seek U.S.
By Jane Sutton
MIAMI (Reuters) - Two musicians with the Cuban band Sintesis ended their U.S. tour by seeking political asylum at the office of a U.S. congresswoman in Miami, federal officials said Friday.
Guitarist Jorge Luis Almarales, 32, and drummer Eugenio Doria Del Valle, 22, showed up unexpectedly at the Miami office of Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinin Thursday and asked for asylum, officials said.
``We understand they are going to be filing formal requests but we have not received it yet,'' said Kelly Spellman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Sintesis was winding up a U.S. tour in California when Almarales and Del Valle caught a bus for Florida. They spent a night at a Red Cross shelter in Orlando as Hurricane Floyd neared, and were staying with relatives in the Miami area.
Almarales, who left a pregnant wife in Cuba, said he felt politically and professionally stifled in Cuba.
``You can't live in oppression,'' Almarales told the Miami Herald. ``I had to find a better life, to find my own future as a guitarist. Life is not eternal and you can't be suffering all the time.''
The band, founded in the 1980s, mixes rock 'n' roll and jazz with Afro-Cuban chants and drumming. Almarales had been with the band five years and Del Valle about three years.
The defection comes amid a squabble over whether one of Cuba's better-known dance bands, Los Van Van, will perform at a city-owned hall in Miami.
Los Van Van was scheduled to play at Miami's Knight Center on Oct. 9, sparking an uproar among some Cuban exiles in Miami who believe the band supports Cuban President Fidel Castro's government. Miami's mayor branded Los Van Van ``the official Communist band of Fidel Castro.''
Concert hall managers canceled the show and gave the Oct. 9 date to Brigade 2506, a group named for fighters in the Bay of Pigs invasion who tried unsuccessfully to topple Cuba's government in 1961.
Concert promoters and the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue, claiming the cancellation violated rights to free expression guaranteed under the Constitution's First Amendment.
The Los Van Van concert was reset for Oct. 11 after the promoters agreed to provide additional documents ensuring compliance with U.S. Treasury rules. Despite the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Cuban artists may perform in the United States as part of a cultural exchange, but may not be paid beyond reimbursement of expenses.
Carlos Alfonso/X Alfonso
Tropicana Mag article on Sintesis
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