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WASHINGTON, DC/Thurs. Dec. 3: Cuban Musician Carlos Varela at American University

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  • Jane Franklin
    To: newscapsules@aol.com Subject: Cuban Musician Carlos Varela at American University on Thursday Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 18:52:54 -0500 From:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2009
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      To: newscapsules@...
      Subject: Cuban Musician Carlos Varela at American University on Thursday
      Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 18:52:54 -0500
      From: josepertierra@...

      The Center for Democracy in the Americas and
      American University's Council on Latin America
      are pleased to invite you to:

      Discussion with Cuban Musician Carlos Varela

      Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
      American University, Battelle-Tompkins Atrium
      4 ��� 6 pm

      For the first time in a decade, Carlos Varela, the renowned Cuban singer/songwriter, has received a visa to enter the United States. Mr. Varela is revered by his generation of Cubans for his poetic but realistic vision of Cuban society and the Cuban system. At times his music is not available on Cuban radio or for sale in stores, but his concerts in Cuba are mobbed by young Cubans who know and repeat every word of his lyrics.

      His music has given voice to the aspirations and longings of Cubans ��� those in Miami and those living on the island ���and inspired audiences in North America, Europe, and across Latin America. Carlos Varela recently performed for that global audience of admirers from the stage of the Paz Sin Fronteras concert in Havana on September 20, 2009.

      Mr. Varela will provide his analysis of how younger Cubans see the direction of their country, and how they perceive U.S. policy. As an artist, Carlos will discuss the value of U.S. ��� Cuba cultural exchanges and the significance of the Juanes concert. And if we���re lucky, Carlos will perform a few songs at the end of our discussion.

      Please RSVP to Collin Laverty at 202-234-5506 or collin@...

      Carlos Varela is a singer-songwriter from Havana, Cuba. Varela, like many other musicians, had to perform in Havana's parks and private patios until Silvio Rodriguez, one of the nueva trova founders, "discovered" him and took him on a tour to Spain. Like many other Cuban musicians of his time, Varela was unknown, and arguably "silenced", in his first years as a trovador.

      In the verses of one of his oldest songs "Memorias" [Memoirs], from his first album "Jalisco Park", he sings "a veces me ponen en la radio, a veces no" [sometimes they air me on the radio, sometimes they don't] along with other verses that highlight how few choices are left for regular Cubans. From the same album comes "Guillermo Tell" [William Tell], one of his most popular and controversial songs.

      It is the allegorical tale of William Tell���s son, who wants to take control from his father and search for his own opportunities, only to be rebuffed by his father; a song whose message resonated deeply with the generation of Cubans who came of age during the Special Period and beyond.

      With his eighth album released this year, Carlos Varela���s magnificent music continues to inspire audiences and artists in Cuba and throughout the world. He has performed with Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Ben Harper, Los Van Van, Victor Manuel, Silvio Rodr��guez, Pablo Milan��s and dozens more of today's best musicians.

      Carlos Varela last came to the United States in 1998. His visa for a tour that included performances in Miami was cancelled in 2004 at time when President George W. Bush severely curtailed U.S. cultural exchange with Cuba. His permission to be in the United States now extends only through December 22nd.

      Directions:

      The BATELLE-TOMPKINS ATRIUM is located just inside of the main entrance to the Batelle-Tompkins Building on AU's Main Quad.

      PARKING: All visitors attending events in the Batelle Atrium should park in the Nebraska Parking Lot directly across Nebraska Avenue from American University's main campus; the entrances to the Nebraska Parking Lot are on Nebraska Avenue as well as New Mexico Avenue.

      METRO: Red line to Tenleytown Metro stop, take AU Shuttle from Metro to the bus stop in front of the Ward Circle Building.
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