Cuba and Me: Person to Person By Fernando Jones
The first international "traveling" rule of the road is don't discuss religion and politics. Hello, I'm Fernando Jones and welcome to Habana (Havana) through the lens of my first time there. On Monday, October 17, 2016, my friend from high school, Eric "Tree" Moore, and I landed on Havana, Cuba's tarmac via Miami, Fl. Though our flight to Cuba was for 8:10AM, we had to arrived at the airport at 4:00AM to pick up our visas.
Most think of cigars, rum, salsa, black beans and rice, old American automobiles from the '50s, sandlot baseball, and Afro Cuban music when we think of Cuba. What comes to your mind? Through my travels, I've found that very few things have the power to bring people from different walks of life together in harmoniously like live music.
In my neighborhood, as a youth, live music and dirt-lot athletic events were all around me; there, I was introduced to African rhythms, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and the Blues. Needless to say, I've always had an innate connection to Cuba so when I got the chance to go that was natural; when I walked the streets it was natural; when I performed with the musicians there . . . it was natural. Once there, Tree and I found Havana to be, in fact, a wonderful place frozen in time, respectfully, where music was a native second language, respectfully.