The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

A Fiery Concert by The Havana Cuban All-Stars

By Virginia Ross

Sunday night on a stage crowded with instruments-conga, bongo, snare and timbale drums, violins, guitars, trumpets, and a trombone, the band's Friendship Tour had drawn a gathering crowd.

The Havana Cuban All-Stars, the Civic Music concert, at the Burlington Auditorium, was staged on risers so all members of the band could be highlighted by spotlight when it was their turn to energize the beat.

Michel Padron, a trumpeter and band leader, spoke with furor about the music and since this was the first time the group on been in the United States, his words were laced with a Spanish accent. However, music is universal and the rousing melodies captured the audience.

Vicente Arenciba, Adolfo Florian, Eney Arnada, Yoan Sanchez, Eikel Venegas, Richardo Fernandez, Jesus Cutino, Yaniel Rascon, Daniel Carnago, Raul Bermudez and Jorge L. Quevedo, all casually dressed, added to the electric sound.

Their music was inspired from the traditional Cuban son (song) and it featured everything from salsa to the rumba beginning with the clicking of the snare drummer's sticks which signaled wild, fast pacing numbers.

The group swayed to the beat and encouraged the audience to clap, dance and shout and some did. Even our own Henderson County jazz connoisseur could be seen jiving to the rollicking sound.

From classical to the contemporary with ballads thrown in between, Cuban music had landed on the banks of the Mississippi. I have a feeling that it will become more of an influence in pop culture as the doors to Cuba open wider.

If you were not present last Sunday night, you missed a memorable evening.

The next Civic Music event will be Fame, the musical, on November 17th. Go early as I think the place will be packed. Remember one time admission is now being sold.