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Using the title of Ignacio Pireiro's'No Juegues con los santos" (Don't Mess with the Saints), this talk will examine the influence of Ocha, Palo, and Abaku3 in Cuba's music and their intimate relationship with Cuban daily life. Whether it is love, health, friendships, food, ethical dilemmas, hanging out in the streets, or expressing faith, these religions are deeply embedded in everyday activities. Using examples like "Yerbero moderno" (Nestor Mili), "Mambo Abacuh" (Arsenio Rodriguez), NiAo santo' (Omar Sosa), Soy todo" (Los Van Van), Canto para ElewA y ChangW (Orishas), "Ponle fe" (Eley6), "Misa cubana' (Jose Maria Vitier), and Loke Aye" (Sintesis), these everyday expressions are deeply linked to Cuban notions of justice and joy, along with the Yoruba concept of coolness. And equally, both the music and the religions embody a wisdom, a cultural memory, and a spirit of resistance.
Cuban Research Institute
Arts and Humanities
West-Duran, Alan, ""Don't Mess with the Saints": Popular Music and Afro-Cuban Religion" (2018). Cuban Research Institute Events. 417.
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