Thursday, June 24, 2010

No Buena Vista in BKLYN!

BRIC Arts: Bklyn announces with great regret that Thursday's (June 24) free performance by the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club featuring Omara Portuondo at "Celebrate Brooklyn!" has been CANCELLED because the group did not get visas in time for all musicians to travel to New York from Cuba. At this time, there are no plans to reschedule the performance.

The Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn pre-concert reception (6:00PM) and opening performance by flamenco dancer Nelida Tirado (7:30PM) will take place as planned, followed by a special film screening of Wim Wenders' Buena Vista Social Club.

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Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club to Miss U.S. Show

HAVANA (Reuters) - The first of three U.S. concerts scheduled by Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club has been canceled because of a delay in getting U.S. visas, their U.S. lawyer said on Thursday.

The band made famous in a 1999 documentary by German director Wim Wenders was supposed to make their first U.S. appearance since 2003 on Thursday night in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, but did not get their visas in time to arrange a flight, San Francisco-based attorney Bill Martinez said.

The problem was "a timing issue," he said, not difficulties with U.S. authorities.

Martinez said they are expected to play as scheduled on Saturday in Chicago and on Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Visa applications for Cuban entertainers were routinely denied under former U.S. President George W. Bush, but generally have been approved under President Barack Obama, who has slightly improved relations with the communist-led island.

Band members told Reuters they were late in applying for visas because they had returned only recently from a European tour.

The band of aging Cuban musical legends had been mostly forgotten until they recorded a self-titled Grammy Award-winning album, "Buena Vista Social Club," in 1996, produced by U.S. musician Ry Cooder.

Wenders' documentary, also titled "Buena Vista Social Club," was nominated for an Academy Award and catapulted the band to international stardom.

After their U.S. shows, they will go to Europe to play 25 concerts.

(Reporting by Jeff Franks; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Thanx to John McAuliff, Executive Director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, for forwarding this message.

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