Diplo's Major Lazer to Be One of First Major U.S. Acts to Play Cuba Since Ties Were Restored

Major Lazer
Courtesy Photo

Major Lazer 

Trio to play free show at Tribuna José Martí in front of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on March 6.

Diplo and Major Lazer are taking their talents to the former Soviet bloc.

The electronic/dancehall trio is set to become one of the first major American artists to play Cuba since diplomatic ties were restored between Washington, D.C., and Havana in July.

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Major Lazer is scheduled to play a free show for tens of thousands of fans at Tribuna José Martí in front of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, on March 6. The historic event is being presented by the Musicabana Foundation in association with the people and government of Cuba.

In accordance with the cultural exchange, the group will also meet with Cuban music students and share the stage with up-and-coming local DJ talent.

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“For as long as I can remember, Cuba has played an influential role on my love of music -- Cuba has such a powerful cultural impact all over the world and for me, especially growing up in Florida, it became one of the biggest cultural centers for music to evolve from,” Diplo said in a press release announcing the performance. “I was lucky enough to visit Cuba a few years back with my friends Calle 13 and during my four days there my mind was blown by the people, depth of culture and their way of life. Going back to perform in 2016 and to be a part of the culture once again is a huge blessing and I couldn’t be more honored to bring the Major Lazer project there.”

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The Havana show comes ahead of Musicabana, the first international music festival produced by American and Cuban partners in more than 30 years, in Havana, May 5-8. Co-produced by Fabien Pisani -- the Brooklyn-based son of Cuban music legend Pablo Milanés -- and David Kirchner in collaboration with Cuba's National Institute of Music (ICM), the free festival will feature more than 25 artists at three venues.

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"Cuba's music scene is bursting with the same raw talent and energy of decades past," says Pisani, founder and festival director of Musicabana. "We are excited and proud to partner with Major Lazer and bring one of America's top musical talents to Havana this March, helping us launch the Musicabana festival in May. We will make history and build an unprecedented cultural bridge between Cuba, the United States and the rest of the world through the power of music."