FIRST AMERICAN BAND TO PERFORM IN CUBA SINCE 1979 PLAYS TO SELLOUT AUDIENCES IN NATIONAL THEATRE VENUE
Ending a 16 year cultural Cold War, a Los Angeles band has become the first group from the United States to play in Cuba. Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams, a 14-piece Latin-funk band featuring musicians who play with Chicago, Rod Stewart and Chick Corea, played two sold out shows at Havana's prestigious National Theatre. It was the first time a United States popular music group has performed in the country since Billy Joel headlined the Havana Jam in 1979.
More than 7,000 fans packed the two sold-out shows December 2nd and 3rd at the theatre, which normally plays host to the national symphony and ballet company of Cuba.
"It's like going back to school, it's the musicians' Mecca," said Tris Imboden, world famous drummer of the popular rock group Chicago. "Even the band playing for no one at the pool of our empty hotel had lessons for us all."
Although President Clinton has favored relaxing restrictions on Americans wanting to travel to Cuba, Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently introduced the "Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1995" which proposes tightening sanctions against Cuba and reaffirms the U.S. position on its long-standing trade embargo. Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams were only allowed to travel to Cuba because they were fully hosted guests of the Cuban Institute of Music, a travel status which occupies a gray area in the Federal Government's Cuban travel restrictions rule book. "After speaking with people all over Washington, it was difficult to get a clear picture of our exact travel entitlements, so we just decided to buy the plane tickets and go," said Bruce Horwitz, the band's manager.
During their visit, the group was joined on stage by the famous Cuban ensemble Sintesis, teaming up at the close of each concert with both bands performing as a group Sintesis' anthem hit, "Aguanileo." All during their week long visit in Havana, the American musicians were greeted on nightclub stages all over town to the cheers of Cubans hungry for a taste of the American sound that has been absent from their country for so many years.
Joining Cecilia Noel on the tour were Wild Clam regulars Tris Imboden, drummer for Chicago; Jimmy Earl, bass player for Chick Corea; and Lee Thornberg, trumpet player for Rod Stewart and Tower of Power. The band was featured on national television and invited back to play the International Jazz Festival in Havana in February.
/CONTACT: Bruce Horwitz of Clamor Inc., 310-314-2229, e-mail: email@example.com/
CO: Clamor Inc. ST: California IN: ENT SU:
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