Written by 4:20 pm Music

Bill Taylor, president of the Trombone Shorty Foundation: Havana and New Orleans are related spirits

The U.S. Trombone Shorty Foundation will arrive on the International Jazz Plaza Festival to strengthen cultural ties between Cuba and New Orleans, with an agenda of concert events that may’t be missed, amongst which the performances of the Tank and the Bangas and The Soul Rebels bands, and Chief Monk stand out.

The president of the inspiration, Bill Taylor, talked with OnCuba about this project called Getting Funky in Havana, which has amongst its precedents the visit made by the remarkable trombonist Troy Andrews (Trombone Shorty) to the Cuban capital greater than twenty years ago; an experience that defined the creative lifetime of this influential musician, who has collaborated, amongst others, with stars of the caliber of Jeff Beck, the Dave Matthews Band and Lenny Kravitz.

The Trombone Shorty Foundation can have a relevant presence within the Jazz Plaza. Photo: Laura Carbone

Why is that this Getting Funky in Havana trip essential?

New Orleans has a really wealthy and dynamic culture. One among the explanation why it’s so powerful is that it mixes many diverse influences and styles―akin to the gumbo metaphor―and different ingredients that come together to create a novel flavor. Connecting with Cuba is essential because Cuba has an equally deep and unique culture. The development of this bridge will transform the musical vision of each professionals and students by experiencing a new culture that can encourage their careers and their lives.

We imagine that diversity is a strength and when it brings together people from different backgrounds, it makes us all stronger. All of us profit from these cultural connections.

Troy Andrews fiddling with boys from the Trombone Shorty Music Academy. Photo: Laura Carbone

What does the inspiration expect to attain with this trip?

We’re within the midst of New Orleans’ musical culture. This includes skilled musicians who make world tours and younger musicians who aspire to take their place in a city that has such deep roots. A big a part of that development is exposing these young students to a wider world and expanding their horizons. This happened with Troy (Trombone Shorty) when he was a young person and got here to Cuba. That have was invaluable. We also find that once we take our musicians out of New Orleans, they’re received with an important deal of respect and admiration. That permits these younger musicians to grasp and appreciate their very own culture much more. There may be nowhere in the US as musical as New Orleans. And it is just through the education of the youngest musicians that it’s going to remain that way.

Are there other future projects with Cuba beyond Getting Funky in Havana?

We are going to prepare for the Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival in New Orleans within the spring. We see Getting Funky as the start of a protracted journey with our new friends in Cuba. I see this because the opening of a bridge that will probably be crossed backwards and forwards in time, for all those involved. And in the future, soon, these students will turn into professionals and we hope they may proceed transmitting this.

In New Orleans it’s clearly understood that Havana and New Orleans are culturally related spirits, nevertheless it’s not understood what it takes to get there. Cuba Educational Travel has opened the door for us to do that. I can’t overstate how excited everyone seems to be here.

What do you discover most interesting about this program in Havana?

Every a part of it. I can’t highlight one. Having Big Chief as considered one of the primary Mardi Gras Indians who will perform in his full suit in Cuba will probably be quite epic. Mixing these rhythms with Cuban percussion guarantees to be amazing.

What should Cubans know concerning the musicians who’re coming?

The Cuban public should know that, like our Cuban counterparts, these musicians are shoulder to shoulder with giants, deeply connected with their very own heritage and respectful of it, and at the identical time they’re promoting and constructing over it and over lots of of years of history. They’ve a fresh voice and a fresh sound that takes our music into the long run.


*TN: Bill Taylor’s answers were retranslated from the Spanish.

Michel Hernández, michel-hernandez

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