One of the biggest names in Cuban music has defected from the island with his wife and children and is living in Tampa, the LA Times reports in today's paper.
Issac Delgado has been called "the heart and soul," of Timba music (a combination of jazz, salsa and funk) and was the lead singer of NG La Banda, one of Cuba's most popular groups. According to the Times, Delgado moved "under the cloak of secrecy" and has surfaced in Bay Area. He has not given any interviews, but the William Morris Agency has signed up to represent him.
Delgado's defection means that things must be really bad in Cuba. Top musicians such as Delgado are treated like royalty on the island, with homes, cars and hard-to-find items at their disposal.
"I can't live here anymore," saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera recalls thinking while in Havana in 1980. "I need wider horizons. I need to prove myself in a tougher scene, where people really blow on these instruments and know what really happens."
The tale of Rivera's trek from Havana to New York is chronicled in a new book, "Ninety Miles: Cuban Journeys in the Age of Castro." It's written by Ian James, a former Miami AP writer.
Maybe Delgado, whose most recent release was titled "Prohibido" (Prohibited), will also share his story soon.