In the fall of 1997 Miguel sague Jr. organized a not for profit organization called ETHNO-CUBAN FRIENDSHIP COALITION along with several other groups and organizations in the Pittsburgh area that showed interest in Cuban culture and the improvement of relations between Cuba and the US. The purpose of this organization was to successfully carry out a tour of several states in the eastern United States along with famed Afro-Cuban music proponent lazaro Ros.
Although the Havana group Cucalambe which had originally been planned to travel with Ros was not given permission to enter the US, the great Akpwon did come and Sague organized a last minute musical and dance ensemble which included important figures in the Afro-Cuban dance and music community on New York and New Jersey as well as legendary Cuban bata drum player Carlos Aldama to take the place of Cucalambe.
In this discussion I intend to lay out the details of this important milestone in the hsitory of Pittsburgh music.
Below please find the AFROCUBA website announcement of this event in 1997:
Contacting the US Tour
"Cucalambe is a fresh new outfit based in one of Cuba's most culture rich district, Guanabacoa, a suburb of Havana.
Unique in its mixed racial composition, the group represents all of Cuba's ethnic diversity. Its performances are not only faithful interpretations of traditional peasant foot-stomping 'zapateo' dances, Afro-Cuban rumbas and Orisha representations; but also innovative choreographies. They have succesfully managed to ingeniously incorporate the old world elegance of ballet and the contemporary immediacy of modern dance in some of their original creations. Inspired and working under the guidance and monitorship of one of Cuba's foremost exponent of traditional folk performance art, Lazaro Ros, this group is seen by some as being in the same category as Cuba's Conjunto Folklorico Nacional, which Lazaro co-founded in 1962.
1997 Tour: Lazaro Ros and Cucalambe
10/2/97: Unfortunately, this group was denied their visa while Lazaro Ros was given his. Because they were denied late, there was no possibility of organizing an effective counter to the denial. That is why it is important to get visas early, a ways before a tour is scheduled to start.
Lazaro Ros is touring the US with the group Cucalambe for 3 weeks in September - October, 19997. So far, we know this of their schedule:
September 27 Workshop and Demonstration, Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center - Dorseyville PA
September 28 Workshop and Demonstration, Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center - Dorseyville PA
September 29 Performance Penn State Univ., Berhend Campus - Erie, PA
September 30 Workshop and performance, Gannon Univ. - Erie, PA
October 1 Performance at the University of Pittsburgh, Greenberg campus - Greenberg, PA
October 3 Performance, University of Pittsburgh, Bellefield Hall - Pittsburgh, PA
Around Oct 3 Workshops in Erie, PA and Greensburg
October 14 Return to Cuba
The October 3rd appearance will benefit Musicians United to Send Musical Instruments to Cuba (MUSIC), which can be reached at email@example.com. They have a relationship with a music school in Havana.
Lazaro Ros has stated that this will be his last US appearance.
Pittsburgh is developing a sister city relationship with Matanzas.
Contacting the US Tour Manager
For bookings, contact:
Miguel Sague, Ethno-Cuba Friendship Coalition: 412 781-0586 in Pittsburgh
Fax: 412 381-7759
Miguel Sague, Ethno-Cuba Friendship Coalition
1739 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Contacting the AfroCubaWeb Site:
Box 1054, Arlington, MA 02474
Video series shows our song SEMILLAS DEL RITMO at the October 3 Performance, University of Pittsburgh, Bellefield Hall - Pittsburgh, PA
Video Part 1
Video Part 2
Video Part 3
For a complete video of the performance at Bellefield Auditorium in the Fall of 11997 please access this LINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flLpp_NgM5U