Almost 90 years old, with the same voice, U.S. singer Barbara Dane returned to the samestage where she made her debut in Cuba half a century ago: Casa de las Americas. The jazz, blues and folk legend spoke with the contemporary tone of her last album, Throw it Away, the first of her production in 15 years.Accompanied by Cuban and U.S. musicians (Ruy López-Nussa on percussion, Ruth Davies on the double bass and Tammy M. Hall at the piano), Dane shared the stage with Pablo Menéndez, her son, and Osamu, her grandson. The evening revived the singer’s first meeting with the Cuban public, at a time in which the 90 miles that separate the island from Key West had become so long that it seemed impossible to cross them.In 1966 the singer landed, alone, in the oneiric Havana of the time. Or almost alone: she was accompanied by the guitar and a camera.The tense atmosphere between the two countries had prevented for seven years any U.S. singer from stepping on Cuban soil. The nights of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra in Tropicana, el Trivolí or the Hotel Nacional were a thing of the past. But Dane broke the barriers, and her voice was heard together with that of Carlos Puebla, Víctor Jara and Violeta Parra in the First Meeting of the Protest Song in 1967. If she had not dared, she would have placed at her feet the circuit of commercial music in the United States. Read More...
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Boston Globe: In Song and Struggle Barbara Dane, A Singular Voice