Rafael González Escalona

Rafael González Escalona

Periodista con papeles. Bloguero en tiempo libre. Podcaster ocasional. Aunque me encanta escribir sobre música y literatura, no le hago asco a ningún tema que sospeche interesante. Mis palabras: Crisálida, Guitarra, Café, Esa Mujer (parecen dos palabras pero es la misma cosa).

Taueno, a website that promises

A website came out into cyberspace on February 5, 2015, with the aim of becoming "the best and most complete ads site of Cuba". Taueno joins the list of sites for buying and selling in a disconnected country and with one of the worst rates of connectivity in the world. To learn more about this project OnCuba spoke with Hector Almaguer Miranda, an engineer graduate from the University of Computer Sciences (UCI by its Spanish acronym) who serves as Marketing Developer and Specialist of Taueno project. How did the idea for this site arise? The original idea came in 2010, when three of the founders were still studying at UCI. One night they analyzed the deficiencies that revolico.com had, unique site of that type until then and in a debate that lasted until 3:00 am, they drew an outline of the basic idea of a much more efficient and usable system than the mentioned site. Then, two months later, the first functional version of the web was ready. At that moment it was not possible to publish it due to connectivity limitations and lack of funding to generate marketing. In mid-2014 the project was resumed, starting a completely new version...

Fotos: Ailed Duarte

A battalion of tolerant bears in Havana

Imagine that an army of two meters high bears, with the most unequal costumes that have been imagined, to stroll around the world in the manner of the Guardians of the Galaxy celebrating difference and understanding. These unusual superheroes exist, at least in the form of sculpture; and in an amount exceeding fifty may be appreciated by the Cuban public from Friday January 16 (4:30 pm) at the Saint Francis of Assisi Square, in Havana , Cuba. The project, sponsored by the UN and UNICEF, is called United Buddy Bears, and is the result of the work of many sculptors from around the world, from the idea developed by Roman Strobl, Klaus Herlitz and Eva Herlitz. These three artists flooded in 2001 the squares and main streets of Berlin with 300 of these pieces and a year later they thought in expanding the experience and what is known as the circle of United Buddy Bears emerged. With the motto of "We have to know each other better ( ...) to understand us better, having more confidence in each other and to live better," the bears are a message of peace and understanding among peoples. Buddy Bear sculptures (Buddy Bär in...

Zule Guerra

Zule Guerra and her band begins their journey

It's nice to discover new bands and sounds in the panorama of Cuban jazz. Everybody knows that Cuba is an inexhaustible source of musical talent, but it provides you great pleasure to check it in the dark complicit of La Zorra y el Cuervo nightclub. That premises located in 23rd and O Streets should be included without complex in any world jazz route, alo ng with the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard , New Morning, and Ronnie Scott. Fortunately , in recent years, sites like the Jazz Café or Café Miramar have mitigated the loneliness of La Zorra... as shelter of the genre, but that space has carried that task more seriously and sustained over time. Its scenario is mandatory stop for all jazz musicians who want to test their ability, and even though the prices of its nights are not available to all budgets, fortunately Saturday afternoons partially compensate this. The call comes from the hand of the program ¨ A buena hora¨ (Just on time) of Radio Taino (for those who do not listen radio, it is one of the most complete and attractive proposals in Cuba. Seriously, it's time to rescue the radio and all its listeners)....

Yanela Piñeiro y Jeffrey Cárdenas

“How we see you!” an outdoor photo studio

What may have common and different an old American man and a Cuban teenager? How could their looks match and be different of the world, and especially of the people, and how they would see them? The answers to these questions will take shape on July 10, 11 and 12, when the photographic project How we see you takes place. Its creator is Jeffrey Cardenas, a descendant of Cuban photographer who lives in Key West. If we had to find a definition for Cardenas we would call him a pretty restless wanderer. Not only has he walked half the planet working for media outlets like The New York Times and Associated Press, he doesn’t just take photos of the Caribbean vegetation with the passion of scholar but often risks going into artistic photography. In his regular visits to Havana he was struck to discover that the Cubans had a way of looking at foreigners and another to observe their countrymen. The fact seemed so curious that he wants to know if this phenomenon goes beyond the question of nationality, if such individual interpretation is infinite and infinite are the ways in which human nature is expressed. And that is why,...

Guitar player Norberto Rodríguez to perform at Fábrica de Arte Cubano

Most our readers won’t even fluster if we inform them that next April 5th, guitar player Norberto Rodriguez will perform at Fabrica de Arte Cubano. However, Norberto is an outstanding figure when it comes to electric guitar. If we start by saying that since the early 90’s his name has been close to other important figures such as Isaac Delgado, Afrocuba, Habana Ensemble and Pablo Milanés, we may start gettingour readers’ attention. Ever since his mother infected him with the virus of music, in Quemado de Guines (Villa Clara) where he was born, Rodriguez hasn’t, not even for a second, been away from music, regardless of its genre: boleros, traditional farmers’ music, classic jazz or rock. After graduating from the National School of Arts (ENA by its acronym in Spanish) in 1992, he did some teaching at that very same school where he worked with renowned Cuban singers and bands, particularly with Afrocuba and Habana Ensemble, with which he did a crucial work in terms of assessing electric guitar in fusion. In 1998 he won the first award in the first edition of Jojazz. He is one of the most consistent representatives of the Cuban guitar school, with an incredible...

An attempt of a ballad, with the guitar on the wrong side

For Javier, David and Carlos Manuel, my moles "Santi just asks you to listen to him for a moment because he well knows that after a couple of songs, his charm and magic are able to catch, captivate and make you fall in love with his angel forever." Carlos Varela "My heart is an iceberg, my heart is an iceberg, my heart is an iceberg, my heart is an iceberg ..." the phrase as an unquenchable echo resounds in my head since I heard the news. I’m not sure why that one comes to mind among so many thousands of his lines and harmonies. Maybe because I'm thinking if Cuba will be aware of how much love and music in Santiago Feliu are. On February 15 we were going to have the opportunity to remember him through a concert he would give in the recently inaugurated Cuban Art Factory; a concert that will no longer be. The most rocker of our troubadours, the most unruly and authentic of the moles left. He leaves a solid work, an unwavering group of fans and a handful of hymns. None of these will speak of Santi in past tense; none will fall into...

Habana Abierta : A good reason to lose your voice

Few pleasures are greater for someone born in the eighties that that moment when Vanito Caballero gets quiet after saying “how great sounds rock & roll with timba!" for all to shout to the top of their lungs "Habana Abierta fucking does it!”There is in this phrase - which lowers the look of timid people- a contained and emotionally charged feeling, claim and revolution that you can say that Divine script is a generational manifesto that has not been written in the last twenty years. Those guilty of such a thing were a group of young people who had something too powerful to say. The years have turned Habana Abierta into a sort of urban legend that is somehow known through a handful of albums and some comments from people who say they have gone to their clubs in the nineties and the 2003 concert at La Tropical. But in 2012 the Habana Abierta reunion with its natural audience materialized. After nearly a decade of distance they had a series of memorable concerts that allowed several thousand people see for the first time live authors essential part of the soundtrack of their lives. When they returned we felt the fierce...

Mana in the heart of Cuba

Cuba is famous for, or was until recently that started riding a shy technological evolution, a paradise. from Jennifer Lopez to Jimmy Page have walked our streets have passed without the slightest fuss. Here there is no paparazzi culture or media to sell you a candid photo, and I guess that makes them see Cuba as one of the last oasis for sufferers of fame. For things like that - I do not think it was our sun, especially because we are in January, probably Fernando Olvera , AKA Fher , Mana -known vocalist landed in Varadero. The visit of Fher, known thanks to an interview with a local media caused OnCuba invite me to write about what Mana has meant to generations of Cubans. My first reaction was no, I do not like the Mexican band and I feel it would be unfair to blame them for having more than a few Latin American teenager begin on the ways of the rock . But then I remembered what the musician said in the interview about his estrangement because how well people know the Mana work in Cuba and that it touched his heart. And I began to think of...

La Casa, 18 years of home cooking

A 1950s California-style house can become something more than a home. Led by an entrepreneurial family and the needed secret touch of sensitivity a home can be more than just walls, hallways and rooms and can turn into La Casa, one of the most renowned restaurants in Havana. In those nineties, where the creativity of the Cuban was tested, the Robainas took to conceive their Nuevo Vedado home as a space for the enjoyment of the meal. "It's authentic Cuban food prepared from national recipes, many of them family heritage- combined with the richness of Spanish tapas, Italian pasta, Japanese sushi, French pastries and other dishes of international cuisine." All that you can read on sites that speak of the place. And it is absolutely true. The house is one of those classic tastes, halfway between restaurant and home kitchen, where visitors not only savor elaborate dishes but receive the attentive service that is only obtained while in family. In the afternoon when we looked through its door, in the little waiting parlor promotional flyers for the 18 years of the restaurant rested in the center of table along menu cards in Russian and English, and a sheet of papers...

“Changes in Temperamento “

It has rained a lot since the end of the last century a young Roberto Fonseca got allied with Javier Zalba to create ¨Temperamento¨, a band that has, among others, the merit of expanding the boundaries of jazz made ​​in Cuba. Yesterday, while people crowded the entrance of Mella Theater to see the return of this band, some friends speculated about what they could offer at this point. The result was a concert that, despite its climactic moments, being an ambitious and comprehensive artistic bet, the skill of the performers won the applause of the audience; I cannot keep among my epic experiences with Fonseca, Zalba and company. All the aforesaid do not mean that the concert would not satisfy the expectations of most of the public, mainly due to the natural magnetism of Fonseca, Zalba´s return-who never left, but he was not in ¨Yo¨, an album with too many commercial concessions; the performances of Chicoy (electric guitar) and Ramses Rodriguez (drums), the special guests Pedro Lugo "El Nene" (singer) and Roberto Garcia (trumpet and flugelhorn) and some spectacular passages as Fonseca walking through the stage with a radio in his hand tuning "El Manisero" or the dancers dancing the...

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