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Nueva Trova: Cuban musicians captivate japanese audience

Five Cuban musicians from the New Trova movement performed in concert for the first time in Japan over the weekend. They brought with them a combined repertoire spanning 150 years of politically committed Cuban song.

"The lyrics of our songs are vital," said Lazaro Garcia before the concert. Accustomed to Spanish speaking audiences, he said it was challenging to face an audience that doesnt understand the message of his songs.

However, the concert in the Japanese capital showed, once again, how music can go beyond borders.

"We have felt at home, something we are deeply grateful for. Despite the language difference we experienced a truly extraordinary flow of energy and communication," said singer and guitarist Vicente Feliu.

The other three Cubans who took to the stage were Alejandro Valdes (guitarist), Augusto Blanca (singer-guitarist) and Pepe Ordaz (singer-guitarist and percussionist).

"The goal of the concert was to present popular Cuban music little known in Asia; so we decided to play a varied repertoire of classics [...] of the last 150 years," said Feliu.

To get their message across, the five musicians asked renowned Japanese singer and guitarist Nobuyo Yagi to accompany them on stage "to give a short synopsis" in Japanese of the songs on the program.

One-by-one, Yagi introduced each of the 25 songs, giving historical background and conveying aspects to increase audience appreciation of the music.

Source: Granma

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