Global Cuba Fest presents Cuba’s Next Generation of Music Stars!
FUNDarte, Miami Light Project and The Rhythm Foundation present Global Cuba Fest 2019 featuring Daymé Arocena and CIMAFUNK in concert on March 30th at 8:00 p.m. at the North Beach Bandshell, Miami Beach.
With her captivating charisma and radiant spirit, Daymé Arocena effortlessly blends traditional Santeria chant, jazz stylings, contemporary R&B influences, and Afro-Cuban rhythmic complexity for audiences worldwide. Her passion for the musical traditions of her homeland is boundless – “reigniting the Cuban soundtrack wherever she plays” (NPR). At every performance, Daymé coaxes her audiences into lively call-and-response chants with an irrepressible smile on her face, enamoring the whole audience in her charm. “Scat-singing over her trio’s swaying rhumbas and cha-cha-chas,” (DownBeat), Daymé’s impact upon the history of Cuban music is undeniable.
Erik Alejandro Rodriguez—known as Cimafunk—is the latest and hottest addition to Havana’s melting pot music scene. Born in Cuba’s rural province of Pinar del Rio, Erik sang at his church on Sundays before working odd jobs and eventually deciding to study medicine. After two years, he realized his calling was to create music, so he dropped out of school, moved to Havana, and began his journey as Cimafunk. In 2018, he saw record numbers of concertgoers at Cuba’s hottest cultural space, the Fábrica de Arte, which has launched his fanbase on and off the island. Cimafunk’s music blends a range of explosive funk and Afro-Cuban rhythms and rituals. Unlike anything happening in the world today, Cimafunk’s sounds are a sped up, highly danceable and Caribbean injected reckoning of “Brick House.” It’s unlike anything happening in the music world today.
Born and raised in Havana, her conservatoire training was combined with an upbringing grounded in Cuba’s own musical foundations. Accepted age 9 into one of the country’s prestigious music schools, she studied a choir directing course rooted in Western classical tradition. Meanwhile, she grew up with the day-to-day schooling in folkloric music that’s common to most Cuban households. At regular, intimate get-togethers, celebrating the island’s Santería religion, dancing and singing are the gatherings’ mainstays – a combination that’s meant she sees its deep-rooted traditions in a wider musical context.
Daymé Arocena draws inspiration from the intertwining musical legacies of her native Cuba. A singer, composer and choir director, she’s a bright-shining performer carrying the flame for a new generation of Cuban musicians. Approaching jazz, soul and classical influences with an innate sense of rhythm, she released her second album, Cubafonía, in early 2017. With her home country’s rich musical traditions serving as the album’s springboard, she uses its different musical styles as the basis for each of Cubafonía’s tracks, finding outside influences, from her tours of the world these past two years, to build on them.
Emerging from a culture where hybrids and amalgamations are the norm, Daymé embraces that reality. At a time when Cuba’s borders look set to become more open, she is an outwardlooking artist finding new musical connections. More importantly, she’s doing it with an understanding of where she comes from. “We don’t have this native culture,” Daymé explains. “We don’t have indigenous people, like Maya or Quechua. They made a country with people from everywhere – that’s what makes Cuban culture so different.”
Cimafunk is a singer, a composer and a producer and one of the most singular emerging artists of Cuba’s alternative music. His music is a fusion of funk and Afrocuban music. His lyrics come directly from the Cuban streets and his music is designed to get you dancing! His inspiration grows from an eclectic panel of black music: from James Brown’s, George Clinton’s and Prince’s Funk and the soul music of Al Green and Bill Withers to Cuban “Trova” of Beny Moré and Bola de Nieve and Juan Formell’s y Los Van Van’s “songo”. Cimafunk realesed its debut album, Terapia, at the end of 2017.
Eventz Paul is currently the Technical Director and Productions Manager at Miami Light Project. He has been a part of this organization since 2011. He participated in Miami Light Project’s first class of the Technical Fellowship Program held at The Light Box. He joined this program hoping to improve his existing theater skills. He received training from experts in the industry that mentored and further his theater technical skills. Now, he has successfully used his professional knowledge and has had the opportunity to work with various arts organizations and venues throughout Miami including Miami Theater Center, National Young Arts Foundation, the Colony Theatre and many more. He has become an instructor and conducts audiovisual classes to incoming technical fellows.
Beth Boone has been the Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project since 1998, developing critically acclaimed artistic programs that have asserted the organization as one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida. These programs include: the establishment of Here & Now, South Florida’s most respected commission and presenting program for community-based artists; premiere presentations of internationally acclaimed; pioneering historic international cultural exchange with Cuba; and the creation of The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, a multi-use performance and visual art space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. She previously served as Associate Director of Development for Florida Grand Opera, Deputy Director for the Department of Cultural Affairs at Miami Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus, co-founded an Off Broadway theater company (New York Rep), and served for six years as a Program Associate in the Arts & Culture Program of the AT&T Foundation. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and a MFA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University in Boston, MA.