Havana's Symphony of Sound

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Tuesday March 13, 2018

From The New York Times

Our last night in Havana we went to see the eternal Roberto Fonseca and his band Temperamento at the famous La Zorra y El Cuervo jazz club. To enter, you must wait in line before descending through a replica of a red British telephone booth into a small subterranean space.

Mr. Fonseca and his bandmates slowly arrived one by one, greeting one another, testing their instruments, testing the wind, the mood. There was no rush. The music didn’t start until well after 11 p.m. Yet when that first note was struck, everything seemed to fade away: the city, the island, the ocean, the world. We were floating. The drummer was humble, incorruptible, generous. He dove back and forth with Mr. Fonseca, who dashed up and down his keyboard like a gazelle. The conga player, when his time finally came, let loose such an avalanche of rhythm the atoms in the room began to quiver and split. Tell me, is there a more ecstatic instrument than the conga drum?

Jazz, when it is good, makes all possibilities seem possible. And yet whatever is played at the moment also feels perfect, intensely true. This is what was meant to be. When the song finally ended, the world came rushing back, changed, unchanged. We were in Cuba, still.

We took a breath and began to applaud.

Read the whole article here