On Friday evening, what seemed to have been a regular event at the Jorgensen Theatre was a more than radiant evening, with musicians singing music rooted in their Cuban heritage. The Havana Cuba All-Stars created a truly passionate and intimate affair.
The Havana Cuba All-Stars was not meant for lovers to kindle their love, or for couples to remember as to why they fell in love with each other. Instead, the music engaged individuals to sway the night away individually, without shame, while other performers danced with partners.
There were also children as young as 7 years old, ecstatic to practice a rumba on the dance floor. Carolyn Stearns, a site coordinator for an afterschool program in Windham, Connecticut, for elementary school students, brought a dozen children to appreciate the sweet, mellow drumming and smooth trumpet sounds.
Stearns said that she knew about Havana Cuba All-Stars through the Jorgensen Outreach for Youth (JOY), an organization that provides opportunities to attend certain performances for free.
“I showed the students a clip of the band, so they know about them,” Stearns said. As the lights dimmed and invited the audience to dance on the dance floor, the children were elated to be part of the spotlight.
While it seems that the youth took over Jorgensen, UConn students also had a big part of the evening. Ellen Yang, a seventh-semester Spanish major, shared her love for Latin dancing. As an instructor for Bringing Awareness into Latino Ethnicities (BAILE), she hopes the Jorgensen holds similar events and hosts Latin artists.
The Havana Cuba All-Stars performed enthusiastically during their 30th concert in the United States. After entering the stage to applauses and anticipation, they started by playing their must sizzling song from their “Asere Friendship Tour,” a love song that embodies “Son Cubano,” or Cuban rhythm.
While the band did not list the title of its songs, they all had a different glare of tune. Some of the artists’ songs had hints of salsa, jazz, tango and bachata. It was a “forma magnifica,” or a magical form of transitions. The audience demanded an encore and the band played one more song as everyone swung their hands in the air.
Paola Perez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.