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Visit Cuba without leaving Miami at this annual event. There will be croquetas and mojitos

Cuba Nostalgia 2019

This year's Cuba Nostalgia takes place this weekend, May 18-19 at the Fair Expo Center by FIU. The event channels the Cuba of yesteryear with food, music, vendors, film, poetry and more.
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This year's Cuba Nostalgia takes place this weekend, May 18-19 at the Fair Expo Center by FIU. The event channels the Cuba of yesteryear with food, music, vendors, film, poetry and more.

Cuba Nostalgia reawakens the longing for Cuba through music, dance, visual arts, gastronomy and all the cultural manifestations it has offered at the Fair Expo Center of Miami for 21 years.

Cuba Nostalgia opens its doors this Saturday and Sunday on the eve of the island’s Independence Day, to pay tribute to Cubans who have helped to preserve their traditions from generation to generation.

“This edition of Cuba Nostalgia is very important, since we intend to pay tribute to our longtime fans that have been with us for two decades. At the same time, we want inspire the new generations of Cuban-Americans who, though born in the United States, live and feel their Cuban heritage with great pride,“ said Peter Regalado, executive producer of the event.

Visitors will make an imaginary trip to the most emblematic places of Havana at Cuba Nostalgia. The replicas of the facades of La Catedral, Bodeguita del Medio, El Floridita, Malecón, Castillo del Morro, Teatro Payret, Paseo del Prado and the famous Tropicana cabaret will be spread throughout the 50,000 square-foot area of the exhibition, where a collection of cars from the 1940s and 1950s will be on display.

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El cabaret Tropicana figura entre los lugares emblemáticos de La Habana que recreará Cuba Nostalgia. En la foto, las bailarinas Narelys Brown (izq) y Betsabé Romero. / Pedro Portal pportal@herald.com

The program on Saturday includes presentations by Pedro Luis Ferrer (2:30 p.m.), Amaury Gutiérrez and Jorge Luis Barba (3 p.m.), Ramón Fabián Veloz (4 p.m.), Carlos Manuel (4:30 p.m.), Idania Álvarez (6 p.m.) and Albite (8 p.m.).

Sunday line up includes El Gallito del Son, Grupo Palo! (1:30 p.m.), Álvaro Torres with his son Astor (3 p.m.), Alfredito Rodríguez (4 p.m.), Luis Bofill (4:30 p.m.), Jorge Luis Rojas (6 p.m.) and comedian Alexis Valdés (7:30 p.m).

“Keeping our roots alive is part of what I always do with my music. Therefore, participating in an event like this is an honor and a party for my soul. Cuba is always a caress of love in the heart,” said Albita, who will perform “Ta ‘bueno,” “Qué manera de quererte” and “El chico chévere,” among other hits.

For his part, Bofill confessed that he has always had the desire to return to Cuba, but he has never done it for obvious reasons.

“Fortunately there is Cuba Nostalgia, which gives us the opportunity to visit it through the imagination,” said the singer, who chose a selection from “Arsenio Essential,” the tribute album to the legendary composer Arsenio Rodríguez, which debuted recently.

The cinema will be present with the premiere of “Ajedrez a lo cubano” (Full Galaxy, 2019), a documentary by René Álvarez on the history of the chess on the island. The short film refers to the career of the champions José Raúl Capablanca, María Teresa Mora, one of the first women to stand out at the national level, and Juan González, who died in exile. Also included are stories about American champions Paul Morphy and Bobby Fisher, who visited Havana at the end of the 19th century and during the 1966 Olympics, respectively. The documentary reveals that Cuba was the first country in America, including the United States, where chess was played. It will be shown on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Payret Theater area.

The poster for the event was made by the Cuban-American artist Carlos A. Navarro. It shows a Cuban dressed as a guayabera savoring a coffee in front of a domino while thinking of Tropicana. “Within the concept of design, I highlighted a gentleman from Miami who remembers his youth in Cuba,” Navarro said. “My inspiration comes from the many people who have experienced a true nostalgia for their country.” The artist, along with Humberto Benítez, Marlene Gasiva, José Márquez and a score of colleagues, will exhibit their works in one of the fair’s halls.

The event has prepared a reading of poems by Azael Díaz, Oniesis Gil, Juan Antonio Díaz, Iran Fundora, Robertico García, Manuel Soriano, Efraín Reverón and Luis Quintana. The group will join the sextet Clave Guajira on stage with an illustration of the Valley of Viñales as a backdrop. This poetic musical event will take place on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Books & Books is in charge of the literary calendar with author events on Saturday starting at 2 p.m.

Memorabilia and traditional Cuban cuisine dishes will be on sale, such as croquetas, black beans and roast suckling pig. The mojitos and the daiquiris will be flowing in the six bars that have been set up for this purpose. The closing of the party will be hosted by actor and comic Alexis Valdés with a one-man show full of humor, songs and nostalgia.

“Our main goal is for the South Florida community to enjoy a quality event. We hope to fulfill it, “said Stephanie de Quesada, president of Cuba Nostalgia.

IF YOU GO:

What: Cuba Nostalgia.

When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday 18 and Sunday May 19

Where: Fair Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way, Miami

Cost: $ 12. Free for the elderly and children under 8

Info: 305-902-5500 and www.cubanostalgia.org.

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