Alicia Alonso, the grande dame of Cuban ballet, has died

HAVANA (AP) — Alicia Alonso, the revered ballerina and choreographer whose nearly 75-year career made her an icon of artistic loyalty to Cuba’s socialist system, died Thursday at age 98.

“¡En la guitarra está todo!” — Eliades Ochoa, Grammy Award-winning guitarist on the power of Cuban music

“For me, the guitar doesn’t have a secret. In the guitar, you will find everything.” These are the words of Eliades Ochoa, the Grammy Award-winning guitarist of the internationally acclaimed ensemble Buena Vista Social Club. Before his performance at Festival Cubano in Chicago, we talked with Ochoa about his musical upbringing, experience playing in the renowned group, and his advice for the next generation of musicians.

Classical and Jazz: How Composer and Musician Paquito D’Rivera Thrives in Both

A fourteen-time Grammy Award winner, Cuban-born saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera is revered in both the jazz and classical worlds. When asked about how he is able to work in both realms, D’Rivera says, “It’s just music you know. The great Duke Ellington always said ‘there is only two kinds of music, good music and the other stuff.’ I don’t know what the other stuff is, but I can imagine it!”

Classically Cuban

Skirts sway at Tio Pedro’s party as my partner spins me to the lively salsa music. Tio Hector then pulls out the congas and maracas, adding flair to the song as friends join in to play along. The floor creaks with the steps of people dancing to the rhythm in the summer heat. Being a first-generation Cuban-American woman of color, …

Meet the youth orchestra that’s bridging the gap between Cuba and the US through music

In May 2015, the Minnesota Orchestra made history with its performance at the Teatro Nacional in Havana, Cuba. The ensemble was the first American orchestra in decades to perform on the island, and the concert was broadcast around the country, including on WFMT. Rena Kraut, a Highland Park native and professional clarinetist who toured with the orchestra, was inspired not …