Ned Sublette

Ned Sublette is a contributor to Billboard.

Fidel Castro in Cuba

Fidel Castro: A First-Person Account of the Day the Music Stopped in Cuba

Musician, Billboard contributor and acclaimed author Ned Sublette (Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo) has been in Cuba this past historic week and was at a concert the night of Nov. 25, when the country learned of Fidel Castro’s death. As the former leader's ashes travel from Havana to his home province of Oriente, Ned -- in this exclusive piece for Billboard -- shares what it’s like to be in Cuba with all music suspended for nine days until Castro's funeral on the Dec. 4, what Castro’s passing means for the country’s artists, and what comes next with President-elect Donald Trump possibly undoing two years of progress between the United States and the once-prohibited island.