Photographer's Note

One of the reasons that I felt so happy and relaxed in Cuba was the music. Specially in the towns of oriente, it is the eastern part of Cuba, you can hear the live music everywhere everytime. In the evening the locals and some tourists, gather in the special kind of bars called Casa de la Trova. One can hear for free the groups of musicians, some can dance or sing. In Santiago and Baracoa I went there every evening.

Santiago de Cuba is the mother of a peculiar musical style known as “Trova”. From exquisitely conceived and crafted lyrics to the most improvised refrains behind the taut wire stings, the male and female musicians accompanied by a guitar made famous internationally the repertoire of traditional Cuban trova and Santiago trova as the most distinctive of its sound.
Great personalities from all over the world have come to visit the birthplace of traditional trova. But none of these visits have had more of an impact than the surprise arrival on one Sunday afternoon in June 2000. People began running around all over the place telling others who they had run into:

“Paul McCartney is at the Casa de Trova,” they announced to everyone.

The former member of the Beatles, who had never visited Cuba, requested authorization from the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana to land his private plane in Santiago.

Once he landed, he visited the Santiago’s Morro Castle and then asked to be taken to the Casa de Trova. Sitting there on a bare stool he hummed along to the troubadours, signed autographs and talked about how he had always admired this kind of music, which the Beatles borrowed in some of their musical arrangements.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13028 W: 139 N: 33714] (153784)
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