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A Chicago-Inflected Concert For Cuba

More than 60 renowned musicians from around the globe, including Dionne Warwick, Michael McDonald and Tom Morello, will perform in a Concert for Cuba this weekend, the world's first COVID-19 era international music fest.

Joining them in honoring Cuba - its music and its people - will be a variety of well-known activists, political leaders and cultural icons including Danny Glover, Medea Benjamin, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Michael Moore.

Longtime Chicago musicians Erwin Helfer and Reginald Robinson have contributed compositions.

Concert for Cuba- poster- final (07-12-20) (English).jpg

The broadcast is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CST each night, and available exclusively on TWITCH.TV/HotHouseGlobal.

The official radio sponsor, The Pacifica Foundation, will also carry the show live on radio stations across the U.S.

In addition, the two nights will be carried via watch parties by hundreds of host organizations across the U.S. as well as in Argentina, Cuba, and Canada.

"After 30 years running a brick-and-mortar cultural center, we started this event as a small online project to provide some pocket change for artists from around the world during COVID," HotHouse empresario Marguerite Horberg said.

"We've been experimenting with how to use essentially a gaming platform for arts presenting and tinkering with the technology.

"Little did we know a month later we'd be turning away some of the planet's top stars because we were too full in the already six-hour show! What a great problem to have!

"It's just a rare and sad moment when nobody can tour, [but] people are at home with their iPhone and able to broadcast their concert performance to our channel."

Those wishing to keep up with any program changes and additional broadcast should register at

About the sponsors . . .

A nonprofit, arts presenting organization formed in 1987 in Chicago, HotHouse has been long the city's principal venue for presentation of contemporary and traditional performance and art from throughout the African diaspora. HotHouse was one of a handful in the entire country to host Cuban artists during the years of the U.S. blockade from groups like Irakere to artists such as Chucho Valdez.

In 2017, HotHouse was one of 12 organizations in the U.S. to receive a State Department grant via the Embassy in Havana to create the Chicago-Guantanamo Blues Exchange.

In March, HotHouse developed an online streaming initiative to serve the NGO, small business, and cultural industries adversely affected during this health and economic crisis.

The HotHouseGlobal Twitch channel facilitates a variety of multi-arts and community-based content and a worldwide network in the social justice and cultural sector. Since March more than 14,000 people have tuned in to HotHouseGlobal.

The Cuban Institute Of Music
The Cuban Institute of Music (ICM) is a department within the Ministry of Culture of Cuba and is one of the most important cultural institutions of the country. It is tasked with the implementation of the policy of development, promotion, and projection of music inside and outside the island.

It has a system of subordinate institutions, which house more than 16,000 artists throughout the country.

Today it is the governing institution of the Music Development Programs, whose ultimate objective is to achieve a stronger affinity with culture in the Cuban people, applying a strategy aimed at stimulating, developing and implementing actions supporting musical institutions throughout the country.

ICM produces a variety of shows in the country that ensure the development, protection, enrichment, defense, and promotion of the musical heritage of the nation.

Raul Cuza
Raul is the principal at Cuza Talent Agency, a company based in Montreal, specializing in World Music, with a very strong knowledge in Latin and African music. Cuza has been active in this music field for more than 20 years and has served as Programming Director of Festival Nuits d Afrique, co-owner of Eye For Talent Canada, President of Mango Music, and Vice President of GEM Latina. He has been responsible for the tour of artists like: Septeto Santiaguero, Adalberto Alvarez, Amparanoia, Azucar Negra, Los de Abajo, Paris Combo, Seckou Keita, Sierra Maestra, Qbanito, Orquesta SensaciĆ³n.

Bill Martinez
Martinez is an immigration attorney who has also produced and managed cultural events in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1973. A native San Franciscan, he is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and Hastings College of the Law. He has worked in the Community Law Collective ('74-'79), New College of California School of Law ('79-'83) and the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco ('84-'93).

In 1981, he co-founded the Encuentro del Canto Popular, a San Francisco-based Latin American music festival. His work with the Encuentro lead him to become one of the nation's leading experts in U.S.- Cuba cultural exchanges and artists' visas.

He co-founded the Latino Entertainment Partners which produced historically significant concerts of Cuban artists.


Comments welcome.


Posted on July 16, 2020

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