Questlove Visits Havana Cuba for Goodwill Performance
This past week, Questlove led the charge for American artists on the engagement process with Cuba. DJ, producer, and drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson visited Havana, Cuba, as a gesture of goodwill towards the Cuban people by providing 2 nights of DJ'ing to a bevy of young Cubans on April 16 and 17th, 2015. The performance was designed for his love of the Cuban people and an effort to foster more cultural exchanges with Cuba's civil society.
The performance took place just a few days after President Obama and Raul Castro sat down for their historic meeting at The Summit of the Americas in Panama to forge a more fruitful relationship. "It's always been a dream of mine to DJ in Havana" says Questlove. "I've been to Cuba before with The Roots and its monumental and humbling to be considered an Ambassador of Hip-Hop to this great nation."
The two DJ nights took place at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC), an old factory in Vedado which was converted into a community art center and nightclub. FAC is the leading hub of creativity in Cuba today, pushing the needle forward by hosting events in music, art, design, theater, and film. The venue's founder, X Alfonso, is one of Cuba's most respected artists today, and greeted Questlove with a smile and open arms upon entering the venue.
"What makes Cuba so beautiful is the open mind to all forms of music that permeates from all of its people. It's a rarity for me to be able to construct a genre-spanning DJ set of 585 songs and have the crowd embrace every single song. The energy of the crowd reflected the cultural infusion and overall appreciation of music that one should expect when performing in Cuba. I honestly can't wait to return."
Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer accompanied the group and opened the second night at FAC with a Hendrix-esque version of the Cuban National Anthem. He promised to return with the full RHCP band.
Local DJ's BJoyce & Edgaro Productor'n'Jefe set the stage for the Grammy winning artist, pumping up the crowd to new levels. The sets were booked from 10:00am til 3:00am, however on the second night, Ahmir delivered an extra hour, resulting in residents cubans joyously dancing til 4:00 am.
La Fabrica de Arte Cubano is located on 26th and 11th street in Vedado neighborhood in Havana. Partners for the event: FAC (Factory de Arte Cubano), Okayplayer, Questlove, You and Me Inc. and Sugar Barons.
Achievement Awards Added To Hit Like A Girl Prizes
Hit Like A Girl Contest today added several prizes as part of the Hit Like A Girl Achievement Awards. These prizes additional will be awarded to worthy contestants based on criteria set by the contributing sponsors. They include:
Grand Prize Performance The Percussive Arts Society has invited the 2015 winner to play at its annual international Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio, Texas on November 14, 2015. The PAS is the world's largest percussion organization comprised of students, teacher, university program, professional drummers and percussionists, and supporting companies. Its annual events draw 6,000 or more drummers for three days of clinics, recitals and band performances, concerts, drum circles and other events over four days. Many of the world's greatest names in percussion regularly perform at these events and to be included on the program is a great honor.
Summer Shot 2015 at Musicians Institute One lucky entrant will receive free tuition to attend the Summer Shot 2015 music camp at MI. It's a chance for students to get a taste of what life could be like playing music all day long at the Hollywood campus of Musicians Institute. This unforgettable summer experience takes place June 22-26, 2015. For one action-packed week, students get the chance to study with special guest artists, join a band & perform on stage at MI's state-of-the-art facilities.
Amaluna Tickets Amaluna has been one of the most successful Cirque du Soleil shows of all time, and this year it features a rocking live band anchored by Hit Like A Girl Drummer Spokesperson Didi Negron. A lucky European winner will win tickets while the show is in Europe in 2015.
Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon.Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honours femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.
In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.
Lynyrd Skynrd Drummer Bob Burns Dies
Bob Burns (at left) with Lynyrd Skynrd.
Drummer Bob Burns, a founding member of Lynyrd Skynrd, died in a vehicle crash in Georgia this past Friday. Burns was the principal drummer in the band's early lineup playing on iconic hits such as "Free Bird," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Simple Man," and others.
Burns apparently was driving alone late Friday night near the town of Cartersville, Georgia, approximately 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, when he went off the road and hit a tree and a mailbox. He had just finished a gig. According to police he was not wearing a seatbelt. He was 65.
Burns had played with Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington in various bands beginning in 1964 at the age of 14. By 1968 the core band that would become Lynyrd Skynrd had evolved, though the group had several lineup changes throughout its career. For part of the early period, a second drummer, Ricky Medlocke, was added. Burns was with the band during most of its early pre-fame recordings in 1970 and 1972, though he left the band briefly in 1971. He was also on its first three albums, records that solidified the band's reputation as innovators of a southern rock sound built on a three-guitar lineup and thick boogie rhythms .
As he tired of life on the road Burns left the band in 1974 near the height of its fame and was replaced by Artimus Pyle. He was not in the band during the infamous plane crash that killed five members in 1977. Burns returned for single performances in 1996 and 2006 with the reformed band. Guitarist Gary Rossington said "I just remember Bob being a very funny guy. My heart goes out to his family… He was a great, great drummer."
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