1st year Anniversary Celebration of AFROCUBA!

February 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ariel Fernández, alias DJ Asho

For Ariel Fernández Díaz, the promulgation of the Afro-Cuban aesthetic is not simply a glamorous enterprise. “It’s naive to me to analyze the present without reviewing the past,” he says in a recent interview. In throwing his monthly parties at Sutra Lounge in Washington, DC his goal is to celebrate the culture of Afro-Cubans “through music, documentary films, and personal interactions.” On Thursday February 10 DJ Asho, as Ariel is known, will host a special edition of AFROCUBA! to celebrate its 1st year anniversary in DC. It’s an integral part of his effort to make sure that the contributions of people of color and the oppressed in the history and culture of Cuba do not get dismissed or ignored. As such, Thursday’s edition will feature a screening of Marta Morena Vega’s crucial documentary Cuando Los Espiritus Bailan Mambo (When the Spirits Dance Mambo), a performance by Oscar Rousseaux Pons and his group Alafia, playing Rumba Cubana and singing Yoruba chants, and music by DJ Asho himself playing the best of salsa, timba, rumba y yoruba! DJ Asho encourages patrons to wear white, or a least light-colored clothes; white symbolizes spiritual purification and rebirth amongst Yoruba-Lukumi practitioners. The documentary has been hailed as the “first to explore the complexity of Afro-Cuban traditions without resorting to pedestrian notions of exotica and primitivism.” Featuring interviews with the likes of Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria, the 90-minute film examines the “role of sacred African thought and practices in the formation of Cuban society, culture and music.” You can watch a brief clip from the movie after the jump. AFROCUBA! is a free event, and goes from 7PM until 2AM. For more information on this party, check out the Facebook event page. Sutra Lounge is in the Adams Morgan section of Washington, at 2406 18th Street, NW. Again, it’s a NO COVER event: FREE. CU There… Bless…

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