Today in Cuban Music: Afro-Cuban Jazz Project

Every Saturday at 5 p.m. at Hancock Park, you can enjoy incredible performances  as part of the LACMA’s Latin Sounds series. Last weekend, tumbao and salsa enthusiasts were treated to a performance of the L.A.-based Afro-Cuban Jazz Project. The band is a who’s who of some of Cuba’s greatest jazz and dance bands. Founded by its former leader, the late, great … More Today in Cuban Music: Afro-Cuban Jazz Project

Arroz sin pollo

“Are you vegan?” “No.” “Are you vegetarian?” “No.” “You just like to eat?” “Yes.” That was a little bit of my conversation with Caro Lafaurie, who became a vegetarian at the young age of 13. Today she is the owner of Equelecuá Cuban Café in Inglewood, a vegan restaurant that takes our traditional Cuban dishes and … More Arroz sin pollo

El primo

I often tell people that Pitbull is my cousin. This isn’t true, of course. But I have a gift for bullshitting people with my dead-pan delivery and expressionless cara de mierda. It’s not entirely too far fetched that Armandito and I could be cousins, both being Cuban-Americans that grew up in Miami, both randomly screaming dale and both with an … More El primo

Los Dodgers

By birthright, I was told to pledge allegiance to Los Almendares – never the Habana baseball club. Later in my youth I was instructed to support our Cuban prince, José Canseco, and cheer on the Oakland A’s (even though he didn’t show up to his own street naming). Then, when Florida got a team it was all Marlins, all the time. … More Los Dodgers

Dos mojitos

Cubans get to have two of everything. Uno aquí y otro allá.  La heladeria Coppelia en el Vedado, Coppelia ice cream in Miami Havana Club hecho en Cuba, Havana Club produced by Bacardí Tabacos Cohiba cosechados en Pinar del Río, Cohiba cigars rolled in the D.R. El Floridita Bar en Obispo, El Floridita Restaurant in Los Angeles El Floridita de allá: Ernest Hemingway … More Dos mojitos

Today in Cuban music: Yo Quiero Guarachar

¡A guarahcar se ha dicho!  Afro-Cuban Funk band PALO! released their third album, Yo Quiero Guarachar  and features standout guest performances by Descemer Bueno, Aymee Nuviola, Pedrito Martinez and Roman Diaz. PALO! is comprised of Latin Grammy-nominated vocalist Leslie Cartaya, Latin Grammy-winning saxophonist Dr. Ed Calle; leader/pianist Steve Roitstein, and virtuoso Cuban percussionists Philbert Armenteros and Raymer … More Today in Cuban music: Yo Quiero Guarachar

El presidente

Regardless of your party affiliation or personal politics, it’s a universal truth that Ronald Reagan was the first Cuban president. For many Cubans, Number 41 was a figure that perfectly embodied the United States’ promise of freedom and its far-reaching power. Ronald Reagan (more accurately pronounced RRRO-nal RRREE-gang) took office in 1981 and almost instantly imposed the travel … More El presidente

Today in Cuban music: Habana Dreams

The Pedrito Martinez Group released Habana Dreams today, their much-anticipated album recorded entirely in Havana, Cuba.  The album features a collection of Latin artists, including Descemer Bueno, Ruben Blades, Isaac Delgado, and Roman Diaz. The Pedrito Martinez Group’s first studio album was nominated for a Grammy and features special guests, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield and Steve Gadd. The album was chosen among NPR’s … More Today in Cuban music: Habana Dreams

Una completa

I walked into Gigi’s Bakery with the sole intention of having a cortadito and a pastelito de guayaba. Instead, I left with an Ironbeer in hand and my pants unbuttoned. Walking in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the wide variety of pastries, I recognized the masa reales, but there were so many others that were … More Una completa