Rolling Stones to per­form land­mark con­cert in Cuba this month

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

On March 25, within days of the his­toric visit by US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, Ha­vana will host a free open air con­cert by the iconic Bri­tish rock band the Rolling Stones at Ciu­dad De­portiva, the city’s sports com­plex.

The show, billed as the Stones’ “Con­cert for Amity”, will make Sir Mick Jag­ger, Keith Richards, Char­lie Watts and Ron­nie Wood ar­guably the most fa­mous mu­si­cians to play there since the 1959 Cuban rev­o­lu­tion.

“We have per­formed in many spe­cial places dur­ing our long ca­reer but this show in Ha­vana is go­ing to be a land­mark event for us and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba too,” the Rolling Stones said in a state­ment.

Ru­mours of a po­ten­tial ap­pear­ance by the band first picked up last year, af­ter Mick Jag­ger vis­ited Ha­vana in Oc­to­ber.

In the years fol­low­ing the Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion, which cul­mi­nated with Fidel Cas­tro be­com­ing pres­i­dent in 1959, rock mu­sic was viewed as a sym­bol of Western cap­i­tal­ism in the com­mu­nist coun­try.

Now, as govern­ment re­stric­tions on cul­tural events in Cuba have loos­ened and re­la­tions with the United States have nor­mal­ized, more in­ter­na­tional artists are be­gin­ning to sched­ule events there.

On Sun­day, the elec­tronic dance group Ma­jor Lazer will also play a free show in Ha­vana as part of the lead up to Mu­si­ca­bana, a fes­ti­val in May billed as the first pro­duced by Cuban and Amer­i­can part­ners in more than three decades.

In ad­di­tion to their land­mark per­for­mance, the Rolling Stones are also lead­ing a mu­si­cian-to-mu­si­cian ini­tia­tive in which mu­si­cal in­stru­ments and equip­ment are be­ing do­nated by ma­jor sup­pli­ers for the ben­e­fit of Cuban mu­si­cians of all gen­res.

The leg­endary Rolling Stones for Cuba Con­cert.

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