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Cuban Jewish Music update

I wrote about this project a month or so ago. Here is an update from Roberto Rodriguez:

Dear Friends,

Some of you may know that I have been working over the past year with a Sephardic singer, Sarah Aroeste, on a project of original Sephardic-themed, Cuban-inspired songs. The project is very exciting for both of us. One of our songs was recently selected as a Finalist in the prestigious Festiladino competition in Israel. Sarah and I recently traveled to Cuba and were fortunate to be able to perform our songs for the Cuban Jewish communities in Havana. This was obviously a very meaningful experience for me, both personally and professionally, as a Cuban-born musician who values so much the Jewish musical and cultural traditions. During our transformative experience performing together in Havana, Sarah and I became all too aware that the communities have minimal exposure to Jewish culture beyond their island. And they have hardly any access to music and all the creativity that has been brewing in the Jewish music world over the last many years. One community we visited only had one single Jewish music recording at their disposal.

In light of our commitment to our collaboration, and the resilience and many possibilities that exist for the Jewish communities of Cuba, Sarah and I have decided to launch an initiative that we hope you will consider participating in. We have decided to help build up a JEWISH MUSIC LIBRARY, to be housed in the main Jewish community center in Havana with plans to have the collection travel throughout the island. We are currently accepting both financial, as well as MUSIC donations. We are asking our friends to donate Jewish music CDs or songbooks to the project. The next shipment will be going to Cuba in February, so we are looking to get music donations in the next six weeks (the next shipment will likely be early spring...). We need to receive donations for this round by mid January. If you would like to participate, shipments should be sent directly to:

Aroeste Music LLC
Attn: Cuban Jewish Music Project
255 W 108th St., #5B
New York, NY 10025

And if you (or someone you think might be interestedplease feel free to spread the word!!) would like to make a financial contribution to help support this important project to help keep Cuban Jewish music and culture alive, please click this link to make a secure donation (via paypal or credit card) through our fiscal sponsor, Deep Listening Institute. All donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you for any music donations or support you can provide! You will be contributing to a cause that will bring music and light to a community desperately in need. Your music will definitely make an impact there.

With much thanks and respect,
Roberto (and Sarah Aroeste)