Both Tony and I were born in the US to Cuban parents who fled communist Cuba in the 1960s. Recently, we dreamt of going to Cuba to see where are parents came from and understand the great longing they have for their country. In May of 2016, we got to fulfill that dream. Thanks to Amigo Skate Cuba, a skateboard charity, we got our flights, visas and a show arranged. We left Miami on an auspicious date, May 20th. May 20th is Cuba's independence day from Spanish colonization. But we learned that this date is not celebrated in Cuba since Castro's takeover of the island.
Some other fun facts we ran into: Celia Cruz, one of my biggest vocal inspirations and the most famous Cuban vocalist, is not played on the radio in Cuba. She was banned after speaking out against the Castro regime when she fled the island. Whoops! We had planned to play a cover of one of her songs. We played it anyway.
We met the most amazing people and finally got a glimpse of an answer to that most daunting of questions: What would we have been like if we had grown up in Cuba instead of the US? Some of our new songs play with this duality of our identity.
We are also working on a film about our experience with our travel friend and documentary director, Jayme Gershen. She also took some beautiful photos of the journey we hope to include in a gallery show soon. Can't wait to share the film with you when its done!
Find out more about our collaborators here: