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Regina Cano: I have lived my entire life in Havana, Cuba – the island from which I’ve still never left, and which I love. I was born on September 9, and my parents chose my name out of superstition, but my mother raised me outside the religion professed by her family. I studied accounting and finance at the University of Havana, a profession that I’m not engaged in for the time being, and that I substituted for doing crafts, some ceramics, and studying a little English and about painting. Ah! – concerning my picture: I identify with Rastafarian principles, but I am not one of them. I wear this cap from time to time, but I assure you I just didn't have a better picture.

Reggae Concert in an Apartment in Alamar

April 19, 2017 |

A much appreciated self-organized concert

Regina Cano

Sandor.

HAVANA TIMES — A Cuba full of a great mix of people was revealed at the Reggae concert which was held as an album launch for the CD- Diaspora illegal.

“Estudiantes sin Semilla”, a group founded by two Cuban Rastafaris over 10 years ago, which has suffered more than one change and is today only made up of one of its members: Sandor, held a concert on April 15th, in the apartment where this Reggae singer lives in Alamar, Havana.

This present album was dedicated to “Melo”, his companion, who is starting his life over in another land on the other side of the ocean in Barcelona, Spain.

Melo and Sandor worked hard for many years, and the songs written on this album have been written by both their hands.

The audience there had already heard some of these songs, and sang along dancing with the energy of somebody who is having a good time and always wants more.

Guest artists who attended the concert were: Java3vida, Minervary, El Pincho, Anaconda and Kiki – the latter was long awaited-, who paid tribute, along with Sandor, “…to those who are no longer among us…”, I guess he was referring to the diaspora who makes us whole and makes the absence of our loved ones felt.

One of the songs with a chorus which demanded “…Freedom…” as its essence, was one of the most sung along to, as well as other very popular ones among those present, who as well as being ready to sing what they thought, were able to just enjoy music on a Saturday night, like the needed weekend party.

At another time, the chorus sung by Sandor, said: “…try to work like a brave ant, for a bit of bread…” or “… a lot of people without money take shelter with the moon…” referring to the precarious situation many face with low salaries and a more and more expensive basic food prices.

This event proves how Cuba is becoming a mix of good intentions again – some from here and some from there – within the creation of the country’s artists, the talent and vocation put towards how to be coherent in the certainty of the path that is chosen as a lifestyle, heading where the protagonists are driving us.

Minervary y la Java3vida

And this is not only seen in the work of “Estudiantes sin Semilla” – now with a dichotomy which will be kept until the next change – but also in how government marginalization of this genre still brings people together in complicit solidarity: reggae, rap and a type of reggaeton which could stand up to even the most commercial on the island without being commercial itself.

The same diverse reality understood by those who performed, revealed itself in the coming together of an audience which was as different as the event that took place in this small apartment on that Saturday in April, which served as a great container of good intentions.

Good for this Estudiante sin Semilla – a follower of Jah and an admirer of Bob Marley – who in spite of all the discrimination that surrounds rastafaris here, as well as in his own intuition that he is being censored as a musician and as an individual, he manages to raise his hands and his voice to sing songs where his fellow Cubans see themselves reflected, as well as having a buzzing flow.

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