« Review of Klezmatics in Somerville, MA | Main | International Jewish Music Festival, the Netherlands, Oct 28-31, 2010 »

A snapshot of Jewish music in Cuba

From Vancouver, CA Jewish Music correspondent Ethan Minovitz:

Last December, I was with the Cuba-America Jewish Mission (the only Canadian among 45 Americans). One of my donations to the library at the "Patronato" (the Jewish community center in Havana) was an Oxford Community Press fake book (with accompanying CD) for klezmer trio.

I hope this means Cuba will have its own klezmer band some day. The closest we got to Jewish music was the head of Caibarien's only Jewish family... he played a solo of Hatikvah on his sax! A member of our tour group loaded the video onto YouTube.

On the last night of the tour, we taught a restaurant trio (there's always an instrumental trio in a restaurant in Cuba) how to play Hava Nagilah. What the musicians lacked in ability, they more than made up for in enthusiasm... some German and Dutch tourists looked very quizzically at us all dancing the hora.