MIAMI, United States. – The iconic Cuban group Los Van Van will be the main star of the San Francisco Carnival to be held from May 27 to 28 in the Californian city. Under the motto “45 years of music and movement”, the event will offer two days of free music, dance, gastronomy and crafts at the 24th Street Latino Cultural District in San Francisco, California.
In accordance with an EFE report, The organizers announced that this 45th edition of the carnival will honor the artists who have shaped this multicultural and multigenerational celebration.
The event begins with the Grand Parade, which will show the cultural richness of various countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, Haiti, and West African nations.
Rodrigo Durán, executive director of the San Francisco Carnival, highlighted the important role that different musical genres have played in the event: “From the beginning, the sounds of salsa, samba, soca, mariachi, merengue, cumbia and reggae music paved the way for carnival to thrive, and now modern sounds have joined the mix, resonating with the younger generation.”
Los Van Van, founded in December 1969 by the bassist, composer, arranger, director, singer and producer Juan Formell (1942-2014), have become a symbol of Cuban music and the first dance orchestra on the Island.
Currently directed by Samuel Formell, Juan’s son, the group has managed to evolve and adapt to the passage of time, maintaining its characteristic rhythm and the public’s taste, which is why they have been chosen to lead the celebration.
The popular orchestra, dubbed “The Cuban Music Train,” has performed in the United States before, where it has sparked controversy for its participation in cultural exchange programs between Havana and Washington.
In June 2019, the mythical band celebrated its 50th anniversary with a tour of the United States, amid tensions over the rejection of the performance of Cuban musicians in Florida. Despite cancellations to other musicians and a tough battle for Washington to end the “cultural exchange” with the Island, the orchestra played in Miami in May 2019 and also performed in California, New York and Washington DC.
On that occasion, the leader of the band, Samuel Formell, blamed the protests on his distance from politics: “Since we are not politicians, we try to be as far away from it, trying to make our music,” he told the news agency. PA.
“In the end, there is no doubt that when you see a Los Van Van concert, they don’t talk about politics, they don’t talk about anything, what they do is go to dance and enjoy themselves and forget a bit about the problems that every human being can have day by day,” he added.
However, in 2015, during an interview in miami to several of the band’s musicians, Roberto Hernández, known as “Robertón” and lead singer of the orchestra, described exile as “a necessary evil” that hurt musicians who had “nothing to do” with politics .