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Joel James

The eastern Cuban province of Santiago de Cuba is celebrating the 65th birthday of the late intellectual Joel James with the longest drum jam.

On January 13, Joel James birthday, numerous traditional groups from all over the country will dedicate this tribute to James, who was director of the Casa del Caribe in Santiago up until his death in 2006. James was an untiring researcher of national culture and identity.

The drum jam will start in the western-most province of Pinar del Rio on January 12 with the groups '1802 and 'Tambor Yuca, who will be followed by other groups from the provinces of Havana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba.

The jam will finish with the group 'Barrancas, of Haitian origin, from the Santiago municipality of Palma Soriano. They will play by the tomb of Joel James, in the citys Santa Ifigenia cemetery.

A special edition of the Revista del Caribe magazine, a discussion panel on the life and work of James, artistic performances and the presentation of a book of short stories with a prologue written by James will also be part of the celebrations.

James is considered the main promoter of the Casa del Caribe, which was established in 1982, and of the Fiesta del Fuego (Festival of Fire), that has helped foster cultural ties between the populations of the Caribbean area over its 26 annual celebrations.

Source: Granma

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