Today in Cuban music: Cubafonía

How could you possibly sing to los santos without a Batá drum? Not a single tumbadora. Not even un chekere perdido made it on the stage during Daymé Arocena’s performance at the Skirball Center. And she didn’t need it. Her voice was more than enough. Nonetheless, she was accompanied by three equally talented Cuban musicians, a pianist, a bassist and a drummer … More Today in Cuban music: Cubafonía

Un besito

“Niña/o saluda.” Say these words to a Cuban kid and watch as they forget their stranger-danger sensibilities and reluctantly give you an awkward and messy kiss on the cheek. I’m pretty sure besito is the third word we learn as babies, after mamá and bistec. Then it’s kisses on the cheek for the rest of your life – and for … More Un besito

Mal de ojo

Generally speaking, Cubans aren’t big on soccer – unless they have a Colombian friend that convinces them to watch the World Cup…but that’s only every four years. However, as a Cuban in L.A., you don’t need much persuading to catch the Galaxy fever. I mean, what is there not to like? The L.A. Galaxy have … More Mal de ojo

Meet a Cuban: Nairoby Otero

Cuban-American actor, writer and producer Nairoby Otero just finished a month-long run of her one-woman play ‘Til Sunday, as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In this incredibly poignant 75-minute performance, she seamlessly transitioned between three characters – Claridad, Claridad’s mother and their neighbor Pepe – and in the process brought to life the story of a … More Meet a Cuban: Nairoby Otero

Tres maduros

I love bananas. Yellow Chiquita bananas precisely cut into rounds on my plate of arroz blanco y picadillo. Green plantains fried and flattened with the bottom of a coffee mug, then salted, especially if it’s the side dish to camarones enchilados. And, my favorite, ripe plantains, strange in color and frightening in texture, fried  into a burnt sack of … More Tres maduros

La cenicienta

An hour from Los Angeles, you’ll “leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy” for about two hundred bucks and a mean sunburn. Before I get any further, I should say I don’t have kids or a strong affinity for the Disney brand or even particularly enjoy large crowds. However, this should … More La cenicienta

Independencia

El 20 de mayo de 1902, a las doce horas del día, se llevo a cabo en el Palacio de la Plaza de Armas, en La Habana, la ceremonia de transmisión de poderes entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, y la confirmacion de Tomás Estrada Palma como su primer presidente.  

Un cortadito

The city of Temecula is a little under two hours away from LA, which is also the exact amount of time you’ll need to exhaust all of the culo jokes you can come up with. Go directly to Old Town because, first, it’s absolutely charming with array of specialty stores, boutiques, art galleries, and antiques stores. And … More Un cortadito

Today in Cuban music: Albita

Que manera de esperar un disco, que manera. Albita released her new Big Band album that pays homage to pre-revolution Cuban music – and it sounds as if Machito got a face lift by a really, really great plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills. Homenaje a Benny Moré and Mis Congas are a master’s class in the genre, while Pais Tropical and Las Cumbias celebrates … More Today in Cuban music: Albita