Fiesta Caribeña to be held on October 16 during New Orleans Film Festival

Contact: Regina Wilkins (504) 407-7111 or or Heather Harper (504) 289-0499

Featuring the Warren Easton Marching Band, Dile Que NOLA dance troupe, Melvis Santa with Her Cuban Ashedi Project, Shamarr Allen, Preservation Hall and the Rebirth Brass Band

The CubaNOLA Arts Collective in partnership with Warren Easton High School and the New Orleans Film Festival celebrates the New Orleans/Caribbean connection with the inaugural Fiesta Caribeña party on Sunday October 16, 2016 from 9:00 pm-1:00 am at the Mardi Gras World Float Den, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans 70130.

This dance party includes a stellar lineup of musicians from Cuba and New Orleans including Melvis Santa & Her Cuban Ashedi Project, the Warren Easton Marching Band, Dile Que NOLA, Shamarr Allen, Preservation Hall and the Rebirth Brass Band.

Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased at www.cubanola.org.
The event will celebrate film, music and dance of the Caribbean and feature several important New Orleans/Cuba cultural exchanges namely –
Warren Easton Jazz Cuban Initiative,
Preservation Hall’s Cuba Program, and
The Rebirth Brass Band’s 2002 trip to Carnival in Santiago de Cuba.

Warren Easton Charter High School has a three-year Cuba Initiative that kicked off in May 2016 when students from Warren Easton and the Conservatorio Estéban Salas students spent a week together in Santiago de Cuba studying together the connections between New Orleans jazz and its Cuban music. The exchange was documented by Kira Akerman and William Sabourin.

“Our music students have done an amazing job with traditional New Orleans jazz, and are so excited to expand their knowledge of how that music came to be,” said Easton Band Director Asia Muhaimin.  “After the trip to Cuba, they really have a better understanding of how New Orleans and Cuban musical cultures influence each other. The Fiesta Caribeña will embody in a tangible way what they’ve learned and what they continue to learn about New Orleans and its musical history.”

In December 2015 the Preservation Hall Jazz Band headlined at the Havana Jazz Festival and toured the island. They filmed a feature length documentary of this cultural odyssey and plan to make Cuba a priority for the next three years.

The Rebirth Brass Band traveled to Santiago de Cuba to participate in their Carnival celebrations in 2002. The illustrious New Orleans trumpeter Shamarr Allen was a member of Rebirth during that exchange. The trip changed the musical, cultural and life perspectives of all the New Orleans musicians that were part of it. This trip was also documented. Rebirth is planning to return to Cuba in 2017 to continue that musical dialogue.

Melvis Santa is a multi-faceted Cuban singer, musician, composer and dancer who brings together traditional and contemporary Cuban music, jazz, and R&B. Her music is hip, soulful and playful. Her Ashedi Project band includes some of the best female instrumentalists in Cuban music.

Dile Que NOLA is an all female “rueda de casino”, a style of Cuban salsa dancing, performance troupe. They will perform throughout the evening on the dance floor.

The New Orleans Film Festival will be taking place from October 12-20 and is celebrating the vibrant and varied stories of the Caribbean and Cuba with its new Caribbean Cinema section. For more details check out – https://www.neworleansfilmfestival.org/film/by_category/54/caribbean-cinema
Short trailers of the Warren Easton, Preservation Hall, and Rebirth Brass Band Cuba documentaries will also be shared during the event as well as trailers from other Cuba projects and other films being presented in NOFF’s Caribbean Cinema section.
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to: www.cubanola.org or call 504.324.7436.

The CubaNOLA Arts Collective uses the power of live music, dance, festivity and diversity to promote cultural wellness and equity. We are a collective of artists, tradition bearers, educators, scholars, students and everyday people that explore the shared histories and lifestyles of New Orleans, Louisiana, Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America.  Our projects tap into the power of neighborhood traditions to connect communities and tackle current problems by recognizing their historic roots and by having fun together.

Warren Easton Charter High School, the oldest public high school in the state, is an “A” rated, U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School.  Easton develops a strong sense of responsibility, respect, and courtesy in each student, keeping them engaged with a rigorous and relevant curriculum. Easton boasts strong business, technology, arts and educational opportunities for all of its students.  It has achieved a 100% graduation rate for the past five years. Its staff is dedicated to providing a safe-home environment for all those educated under its roof.

Celebrating its 27th anniversary this year, the Oscar®-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival has firmly established itself on the regional film fest circuit as one of the most reputable in the country. It was named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in their 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions, and it was also named by Premium Beat as one of the “Fifteen Fests You Should Enter.” Born in a city known for its eclecticism and artistic vibrance, NOFF seeks out bold and passionate storytellers. With top-notch programming in one of the world’s most cinematic cities, NOFF serves up a dose of Southern hospitality that’s hard to beat.

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