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Cuba has a new political leader but the Buena Vista Social Club lives on, thanks to 12 brilliant musicians.
The band is currently touring the UK under the name Buena Vista Social Club Presents. It recently played to a packed house at Brighton's Dome that they wowed with much-loved songs from the film as well as those from the musicians' solo albums.

The group is an endearing mix of young and old. Some of the film's stars, such as charismatic singer Ibrahim Ferrer, have died, but newcomers, such as pianist Rolando Luna, who performed a fine duet with bassist Cachaito Lopez, the only band member who played on every Buena Vista song, have slotted in seamlessly.

The musicians appear to adore each other and take delight in each other's individual performances. Trumpeter "Guajiro" Mirabal, who played on much of the original album, led and visibly encouraged the two other veterans in a superb brass section that also entertained the audience with a synchronized dance routine.

Despite the respect with which the musicians evidently felt for their material, they presented it to the English south coast audience with great energy and skill. As promoter David Flower says: "Like all Cuban styles, Buena Vista's music is to be danced to, so it is full of life, not a museum piece that marks a bygone era."

And, true to form, after listening to this wonderful music for an hour and a half, an emotional encore eventually brings the seated audience to its feet for a climactic, life-affirming dance.


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