From Africa to Cuba to USA
Scheduled for October 1, 2022, in Portland, OR, this concert showcases the multiple influences of African musical traditions in the Americas. Featuring Cuban Master percussionist, Román Díaz, researcher Ivor Miller, and the Freddy Vilches Latin Ensemble, this performance will include music from the Abakuá Society of Cuba and rhythms and instruments from other West African musical traditions. The program will also include more contemporary styles performed by Afro-Cuban musicians in Cuba and in the US.
Cuban born master percussionist Román Díaz is a “living repository” of Afro-Cuban culture. He is a noted scholar of Cuban religious and folkloric music as well as a composer and performer of contemporary Afro-Cuban and Jazz music. “I walk the path of the poet, musician, teacher and student. Our ancestors are with us today and I stand on their shoulders.” Román Díaz.
Dr. Ivor Miller is a cultural historian specializing in the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and the Americas. He was a Senior Fellow at the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, a Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria, and has taught in the Department of History at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. His book, “Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba” was awarded Honorable Mention by the Association for Africanist Anthropology. Based upon fieldwork in Nigeria, Cameroon, Cuba, and the USA, it documents ritual languages and practices that survived the Middle Passage and evolved into a unifying charter for transplanted slaves and their successors.