Alexander Abreu and Havana De Primera

One day I will post about my life as a world renowned concert photographer.  Today, however, I will share the fun I had Sunday, my first gig with an all access concert pass  😀  along with some of the lessons learned. 📝

Concert promoter, DJ Warapo Productions, gave me an all access pass.  Needless to say, I was thrilled!  My first ever!  Doors opened at 8. I expected the show to start at 10:30-11:00, Cuban time. I arrived at 8 with gifts for Alexander and my book for him to sign his picture.  I actually had agonized over which color Sharpie to bring.  ha! I settled on red to match the red shirt he had on in the picture I took at Club Rojo in Havana.  I turned down a pre concert dinner date with the team because I anticipated exchanging gifts and chit chat with the band kickin’ it backstage before the concert began.  Well!

As it turns out, I got there before the band got there.  Second lesson learned.  📝  When they did arrive they went directly on stage.  There was no pre show photo opp and gift exchange. 😏 At the end of the concert backstage was rushed with fans.  Although I had access, after being there for five+ hours I guess I ran out of steam and crawled to my car.  Third lesson learned.  📝. I’ll save my gifts and books for the next tour stop.  #notstalking

I thoroughly enjoyed access to the VIP areas and the balconies.  And I love Alexander’s music.  Images from the show:

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Mayito

2Mayito

3Mayito

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little too carried away with Mayito.  #toughassignment #somebodysgottadoit 😉

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WMAA_Mayito

Ayeesa

Mae La Plaza, Santiago de Cuba

There are several local markets in Santiago which consist of outdoor vendor stalls selling grains, fruit, vegetables, meat and chicken.  Everything is fresh and is sold with little or no packaging or refrigeration, including the meat.  I understand that the meat was slaughtered at 5am that morning and will be sold by noon.  I’m pretty sure the currency exchanged is the Cuban peso not the touristy CUC as 95% of the shoppers are Cuban.

I was intrigued by the monitored parking lot in the picture above that charged for parking spots out front.  The prices are listed under the “Servicio de Parqueo” sign on the wall.

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Orisha Dance Performance

Today I’m obsessing over the thousands of photos from my trip to Cuba last August that have not been culled, edited and published.  Although some have been added to my flickr account my goal is to publish a photo travel book after each international trip.  And I’m a couple of trips behind.  In an effort to complete the book  I’ll be blogging on certain sections starting with a fabulous Orisha dance performance in Havana de Cuba.

The performance accompanied by a historic group of all female drummers was held on the charming outdoor terrace of the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, UNEAC).  Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba is located at Casa Juan Gelats, one of Vedado’s finest early 20th-century mansions.  It is the site of cinematic events, lectures, and prose and poetry readings, as well as musical performances.  There’s nothing like viewing the Orishas performed in Havana in such a culturally and historically rich setting.  As an Afro Cuban dance student this was a super special treat for me.

Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba is located Calle 17 y Calle H, Havana, 10400, Cuba walking distance from our casa particular on Calle I.  Afro Cuban performances are on Wednesdays and costs CUC 5.

A special thanks to Kay Torres for providing the planning, guidance, and translations that make my trips to Cuba extra special.  Check out her web site, dedicated to creating a cultural crossroads between southern California and Cuba.