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Monday 16 July 2018
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Parang band tours Cuba

FRONT ROW: Jude Carasquero of TT’s Trade Mission to Cuba, left; Carol Slusher, leader of Los Angeles de San Miguel Parang; Wendy Lee; Derrick Drakes; Nicole Luke; Ann-Marie Philip; Ingrid Dos Santos and Dr Lancelot Cowie, TT’s Ambassador to Cuba. Back row: Roger De Freitas, Lester Johnson, Derald Eligon, Foster Stewart, Christopher Edwards and Stanley Smart.

LOS Angeles de San Miguel Parang band recently toured Cuba and gave the Cubans a taste of traditional parang music, parang soca and traditional calypso music.

The band performed at the Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura with the support of TT Ambassador to Cuba, Dr Lancelot Cowie and Jude Carasquero of TT’s Trade Mission to Cuba.

Among those attending the concert on May 31 were diplomats and officials from Caricom countries, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Ecuador and the Cuban Foreign Affairs, Higher Education and Health ministries.

Also present were Professor Dr Fidel Antonio Castro Smirnov, grandson of the late Cuban leader Dr Fidel Castro, and Guillermo Vasquez Jr, son of the Cuban Ambassador to TT.

The tour ended with the parang band performing on stage with Cuban band Decisión Sonora, at the Casa de Cultura, Plaza, in Vedado. The event was organised by the Cuban Minister of Culture and was attended by primary schoolchildren who gave an enthusiastic response to the music, said a media release. For the band’s members, this reaction will remain a high point of the tour for them.

On arriving in Cuba, the band paid a courtesy call at the TT embassy and was also given a tour of Havana City, courtesy the Ministry of Culture. At Habana Vieja, in Havana, the band enjoyed spontaneous participation in roadside performances.

For its Cuban experience, the band extends thanks to all sponsors: The Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts; Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd, National Flour Mills; Insurance Industry Credit Union Co-operative Society Ltd; Export, Import Bank of TT and Stephen Encinas.

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