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September Saturday

San Francisco has its bridge, its band Mezcla and its own Son music

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 14 (ACN) The important Brava Theater in the Californian city of San Francisco celebrates musical friendship between Cuba and this U.S. city with an online presentation of the concert that Pablo Menendez and his band Mezcla gave in 2017.

Menendez is the son of singer Barbara Dane, the first woman to defy the U.S. government by bringing her art to Cuba in 1966. She has been a permanent activist for a happy coexistence between our countries.

Moreover, Pablo himself has also given heart to the clamor against restrictions that only affect the people, as evidenced by a career of incursions into both Afro-Cuban music and jazz, rock and other genres.

The said event sold out four years ago. Joining Menendez on stage were special guests such as John Santos and the renowned singer of Blues, Jazz and Political Song Barbara Dane, as well as John Calloway, Fito Reinoso, Tito Gonzalez, Greg and Camilo Landau, and students from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, all of whom joined their voices in a call for an end to U.S. blockade that for more than 60 years has sought to suffocate Cuba.

In statements to ACN, the outstanding musician and leader of Mezcla described as frustrating to see that the news, the Internet and other mass media fail to reflect the true feelings of many Americans.

“I feel and see a great love for Cuban music, for the Cubans, for what Cuba symbolizes in the world; a country that resists evil, that defends itself, that does not give up, that shows solidarity to the rest of the world,” he stressed.

Programmed as "Event of the Month" by the directors of the famous Brava Theater, the concert was already shown on Cuban TV.

“This is a very special month given the coming voting process at the UN, where for over 20 years all the countries of the world, with the exception of the U.S. and its ally Israel, have voted against the blockade,” he pointed out.

“Music serves to celebrate friendship, love, joy and peace, and that’s what everybody felt at the 2017 concert in the San Francisco Bay Area, attended by Cuba solidarity organizations and a large number of artists who play Cuban music and have remained close to Cuba and its culture,” Menendez recalled.

Menendez also mentioned a visit they made to the San Francisco Art School, where "we taught the students how to play a conga and invited them to close the concert with us. It was truly an unforgettable event!"

Another unforgettable moment in the memory of this American musician, who has lived in Cuba for 54 years, was when former Richmond, VA mayor Gayle McLaughlin presented them with a distinction from the Richmond-Regla Sister City Association, for the years of dedicating our art to the relations between Cuba and California.

“I know that between our peoples there is something that is neither war nor hatred, but true love and willingness to keep extending that bridge of love for music and friendship," Menendez added.

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