Manana: Cuban Connections

This article originally appeared in Songlines #112 (November 2015) p11. Download a pdf here.

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New festival to come to Santiago de Cuba encourages dialog between Afro-Cuban folkloric music and electronic community (Photo by Harry Follett)

When Harry Follett moved to Santiago de Cuba, he met Cuban musician Alain Garcia Artola and together they set up a temporary studio where they recorded various folkloric music from Cuba. Inspired, they set out to help preserve Cuba’s lesser-known folkloric genres as well as encourage dialogue between the traditional musicians and electronic producers. Thus Manana was born, a non-profit organisation and festival.

Manana, as Artola explains, “stands for ability and dexterity… each artist has their own manana, but [it] is a feeling that is born deep in the soul of the artist.” The festival, due to take place May 4-6 2016 in Santiago de Cuba, will connect Afro-Cuban musicians with the global electronic community. In addition to the festival, Manana plan on creating a permanent studio space in Santiago, which will continue to encourage the same collaborations all year long. Already teamed up with tropical DJ collective Sofrito and international arts production company No-Nation, Manana are asking for public support through a Kickstarter campaign. Visit their website for more details.


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