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A reported blog on happenings around Latin America.

Cuban rhythm, American jazz

It's not exactly the Buena Vista Social Club, but they can still jam.
Cuban jazz 2011 09 13Enlarge
Playing with students in Cuba. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

If you like music, even a little bit, you'll want to check out this video of Cuban kids jamming with one of the top bass players in the United States. 

Carlos Henriquez has played with Tito Puente, Carlos Santana and other Latin music greats. And now he's playing with kids. 

OK, so they're not exactly the Buena Vista Social Club. But they make pretty good music together. 

The U.S. trade embargo has made it hard for Cubans to get instruments, maintain them and meet with experienced players. So some players from the jazz band at New York's Lincoln Center have headed down south to bring them instruments, and to jam with them.

"Music supercedes politics, always," he said. "There’s no way you can argue over music."

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Relations between the U.S. and Cuba have been strained since the Cold War. The CIA tried countless times to kill leader Fidel Castro, and he had no love for the Americans, of course.

But since Fidel Castro handed power to his brother, Raul, in 2006, relations have slowly warmed, at least to allow some Cubans to travel between the countries, and permit programs like Henriquez's to flourish. 

Cuban society is also opening up, with Raul Castro allowing some forums for dissent, letting Cubans buy cars and promote their businesses. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/que-pasa/cuban-rhythm-american-instruments

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