A super group of 14 leading artists from Cuba will take the stage of the Brooklyn Academy of Music for two nights to honor World AIDS Day. Red Hot + Cuba, to be staged Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 by BAM with the Red Hot Organization and musical director Andres Levin's non-profit Music Has No Enemies, will bring "a hybrid of all the new sounds in Havana" to Brooklyn, according to Levin.
Members of Cuba's storied contemporary dance band Los Van Van, folk-rock protest singer Carlos Varela, Tosco, leader of NG La Banda and a pioneer of the aggressively percussive timba sound; and singer-songwriter David Torrens are among performers scheduled. Vocalist CuCu Diamantes, co-musical director of the event (and Levin's wife), and other Cuban artists currently living in New York will also perform at the event.
The Cuba concert is the latest in a series of Red Hot events that BAM has hosted which have included Red Hot + Rio and Red Hot + Riot Live!, celebrating the music of Fela Kuti. Levin was a co-producer of the Red, Hot + Riot album and has contributed to other Red Hot Organization projects.
Part of the proceeds from the concert will benefit AIDS prevention and awareness in Cuba. Levin predicts the event will also expose artists who've had little commercial impact in the States to receptive ears among BAM's typical audience of tastemakers.
"People will walk out of there wanting to buy records from all these artists," Levin says.