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America Cantat
The Fifth America Cantat International Choral Festival taking place in Havana is already a historic event, said Lupwishi Mbuyamba, president of the Louvigny, France-based International Federation of Choral Music.

"The novel agenda of workshops and presentations being carried out in Havana has to do with the idea of cultural diversity that Latin America is promoting," said Mbuyamba on Tuesday.

"This concept has historical roots, since in Latin America expressions from the other continents have been mixed with originality," he noted.

Mbuyamba was elected to his post in 2005 at a meeting of the Choral Music Federation in Kyoto, Japan. He insisted in the role of the organization in promoting inter-cultural dialogue through singing.

He noted that in July, the Third Multi-Cultural Conference of his organization, with emphasis on the Baltic nations, will take place in Tallin, Estonia. A Pacific Cantat event is also scheduled in Taipei during July and August.

Mbuyamba, an organist himself, was born in the Congo and worked in Mozambique. After studying in Belgium and the United States, he graduated in 1984 as a musicologist at the University of Kinshasa.

"I am impressed with the level of the Cuban choruses, for the extent of their repertoire and the strength they put on defending the musical heritage," Mbuyamba concluded.

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