Happy International Women's Day! Here's to all you incredible and fierce ladies (Thanks Rhi) everywhere.
Speaking of incredible ladies, last night, I was lucky enough to see Yasmina Proveyer's, Afro-Cuban Night, a journey into afro-cuban music and dance at the Centrepoint Theatre. Yasmina brought together the Miguel de Armas Quartet, Caridad Cruz, Julio Hong, and the Afro-Cuban Association of Montreal, and additional musicians from Toronto and Montreal for an outstanding collaboration. Part of the TD Black History Month Series, the show brought me to Cuba and back in just three hours flat.
Many of the pieces played were original compositions by Miguel de Armas; the man is a genius on the piano. I am only disappointed that I haven't had the pleasure of hearing of hearing Miguel play before. On vocals, Caridad's consistently strong and svelte voice is always a joy, and one of my favourites was their rendition of Los Papines, Tasca Tasca.
Julio and his group of dancers from Montreal added a great balance to the beautiful music. They brought movement and imagery to each of the pieces, from afro-cuban yoruba, rumba and palo, on to contemporary dance, and of course, also covering the popular dances of son, cha-cha-cha, pilon, and casino. Julio teaches an afro-cuban class to live percussion, every Saturday afternoon in Montreal. Check the link for more info. Julio taught a free class today in Gatineau, and regrettably I wasn't able to attend; I'll have to a make another trip to Montreal very soon =)
The show ran just two nights in Ottawa, to sold out audiences at both Centerpointe Theatre and the NAC Fourth Stage. With some luck, they will be performing this show and possibly others, in other Canadian cities and hopefully again in Ottawa.
Here's are a few pics that I grabbed with my phone, although it really doesn't do the show justice.
Thank you to all the performers and Yasmina, for bringing some warmth to what feels like the longest winter of my life =)
Folks, don't forget next week Saturday, March 14 is the Bailando Ottawa Launch Party (4-8 PM) @Maxwell's, followed by workshops with Walter Rivera from Montreal on Sunday, March 15 at Azucar Latin Dance in guanguanco (2pm) and pachanga (3 pm). Check the link or previous posts for more info!
Also on Saturday night after the Bailando party, Esquina de La Rumba will be performing at Le Petit Chicago. They play a fusion of latin music, and I anticipate this week's party might also have some rumba. So if you are looking for some more afro-cuban music, check out the event!