Los Ciegos Take Havana, Cuba By Storm in the Trip of their Lives

Los Ciegos Del Barrio spent two weeks in Havana, Cuba from February 12 through February 26 for a series of concerts around the City as part of the 20th Annual Book Fair. These events are organized by Cuba's Ministry of Culture and include many performances of all types, including poetry readings and concerts. Some of the highlights included some shows at "La Casa de Alba," which is an organization for Latin-American solidarity in Cuba, a show at "El Pavillon de Cuba," which drew a huge following of fans that we had won over during the days leading up to that show including passers-by and even members of the blind community in Havana; and finally, the main event - a nationally televised major concert at "La Plaza San Fransisco" for a crowd of thousands. We opened the show and by the end, the audience went absolutely nuts, asking for more music. We gave way to the home band, "Still Band," who was actually kind enough to let Machete, Alvin and Derek make a surprise appearance with them much to the delight of the loud, enthusiastic crowd as we sang Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry." We later found out that we are the first ever American band to perform at this yearly event. Thanks to the efforts of our dear friend, Yannis Lobaina Gonzalez, who works for the Cuban Ministry of Culture, we were heavily publicized on the radio, TV and newspapers. Within a week's time, we were recognized in the streets of Havana and greeted by its excited citizens, who constantly asked us when our next show would be. We want to thank Eliot Osborne, our former music teacher, mentor and best friend, who is the co-founder of Project Troubador, for setting this all up for us. This was the third collective trip for the Ciegos' core members as we have also been to Russia and the Dominican Republic.

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