Grupo Afro Cuba

Grupo Afrocuba De Matanzas


AFROCUBA, one of Cuba’s most acclaimed folklore groups, performs the traditional dances, percussion and songs which still flourish as an integral part of the island’s living legacy. Grupo Afrocuba was founded in 1957 in the city of Matanzas, known as one of the cradles of Afro-Cuban folklore. There, many of the centuries-old African based traditions have been maintained in their purest form, some existing presently only in Matanzas. AFROCUBA is widely recognized in Cuba and worldwide for their mastery of the full spectrum of Afro-Cuban folklore, including presentation of certain genres performed only by them.  The group members are not only top-notch professional artists, but also practitioners of the religions whose music and dance they perform. “The group’s repertoire contains a wide and complete panorama of the traditions brought to Cuba by the African slaves, and the results of their evolution and integration into modern Cuban society”.  Their shows include music and dance of Lucumí (Yoruba), Arará (Dahomey), Bantú (Congo), Calabarí (Calabar Region) and other African origins, as well as the more Spanish and Caribbean influenced traditions. Their goal is to keep the legacy of our ancestors alive, while enriching our creative interpretation”. AFROCUBA has performed extensively to great acclaim throughout Cuba and worldwide, including Angola, Zaire, Finland, Italy, Brazil, England and the United States.  In 1989 they mesmerized audiences at the Smithsonian Institute’s Folk Life Festival in Washington DC.  In Cuba in 1991, they wowed the public with their theatrical “Batá opera” based on the legends of Oya, Yoruban warrior goddess of the winds.  They have several recordings, most recently “Rituales Afrocubanos” (1993 EGREM, Cuba), and “Oyelos de Nuevo” (1994 QbaDisc, recorded in 1968 under the group name “Folklore Matancero”).  In February 1996 AFROCUBA recorded six pieces with Steve Coleman at the Havana Jazz Festival.  These pieces which mix odd-metered jazz and hip-hop vocals with polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban rhythms. Because of travel restrictions very few large Cuban performing groups have been allowed to enter the United States.  Seeing AFROCUBA is a rare opportunity to view and learn from people who are not normally permitted to travel tothe United States.

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