As the U.S. and Cuba re-establish diplomatic relations, Latin music execs are scouting the island for crossover hits.
Musically, Cuba is like a paellera — the pan in which locals cook up their take on the Spanish paella — filled with flamenco licks, Jamaican dancehall riddims, West African drum beats, and club-ready blends like cubaton and reggaeton. It’s a broad sonic spectrum that was borne painfully from Cuba’s blood-stained legacy of Spanish colonizers and imported African slaves, with Afro-Cuban percussion providing the backbone to many of the country’s diverse musical styles. Cuba is often seen as the ultimate music mecca, however, thanks to fraught Cuban-American relations, there’s been little chance of experiencing it in person for over fifty years.
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