Interactivo's Roberto Carcasses on Democracy in Cuba: "Liberty Is Something Very Personal"
Courtesy Ever Chavez Do the "timba funk" with Cuba's Interactivo.
Cuban poet and political figure José Martí once wrote, "Perhaps the enemies of liberty are such only because they judge it by its loud voice."
That was about 60 years before communism would begin its reign over the island, depriving the Cuban people of so many basic rights, including that of free expression.
Ever since the Castro regime took power in 1959, Fidel and his brother Raúl have attempted to silenced citizens through fear, the threat of imprisonment, and worse. One weapon, however, that's continually been used by the people to challenged the government is the "loud voice" of music.
"I feel that the culture of a country opens many doors for people, and I think the Cuban government understood that," says Roberto Carcassés, director and pianist of the musical collective, Interactivo.
Those "doors" have led the way for Carcassés' musical career. Through them, he's explored Turkey, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Japan, and even taught a jazz workshop at Stanford University.
But the next stop is la yuma, where he and his crew will be bringing a fusion of "timba funk," as Carcassés describes it, to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium on March 8.
"Everyone recognizes funk," he explains. "It came from R&B and has African roots. Timba is very similar to funk in the U.S., but in Cuba, it comes from la rumba and the urban sounds of the island."