Stones to Play Free Concert in Cuba

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Rolling Stones Cuba Art 2016The Rolling Stones will not only make rock music history but usher in a new concert market when they perform in Havana, Cuba this Friday, March 25. Their free show at the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana stadium follows the also historic visit to Cuba four days earlier by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Rock’n’roll has largely been suppressed in Cuba since the island nation’s revolution in 1959. In 1979, rock acts Stephen Stills, Billy Joel, Bonnie Bramlett and others played the Havana Jam spearheaded by Columbia Records president Bruce Lundvall.

Titled the “Concert for Amity,” the show caps the band’s America Latina Ole tour. Plans call for it to be filmed by director Paul Dugdale, who also directed The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park Live.

Discussions for the concert had been underway for some time. The rumor mill had speculated on the possibility ever since Mick Jagger visited Havana last October with one of his sons.

“We have performed in many special places during our long career, but this show in Havana is going to be a landmark event for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba, too,” said a statement from the band.

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The Stones are also leading a musician to musician initiative in which major musical instrument and equipment companies will donate much needed gear to Cuban musicians of all genres. Donors include The Gibson Foundation, Vic Firth, RS Berkeley, Pearl, Zildjian, Gretsch, Latin Percussion, Roland and BOSS with additional assistance from the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.

The show signals a change in official Cuban attitudes towards rock music, as indicated by the official Communist party newspaper Granma. It says the show “will be a historic moment that will open the doors for other great bands to arrive in Havana.”

In other Rolling Stones news, the hints the band has dropped about recording a new album look closer to reality. Depending on the source, they either started working together on it in December or will in April.

Best Classic Bands Staff
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