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  • The festival will also feature musicians from Colombia, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S.

    The festival will also feature musicians from Colombia, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S. | Photo: radiorebelde.cu

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The festival is organized by the National Center for Popular Music.

The 16th edition of the International Drum Festival, named after the famous Cuban timbalero Guillermo Barreto took off Tuesday at Havana's Mella Theater with a tribute to Papo Angarica, a Cuban percussionist and rumba legend in Cuba, and shows highlighting various topics such as "Drums and Women."

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Papo Angarica used to lead the Son Yoruba band and advised many folk bands in Cuba and Latin America. The Yoruba culture, before it was sublimed in Beyonce's recent songs and photos, originally came from south-western Nigeria and was imported to the Americas, especially the Carribean region, during the slave trade. 

Other bands like Nsila Cheche and Sintesis, as well as singers Luna Manzanares and Heidy Chapman, will accompany the performances of Salsa Mambo and Chachacha, Santiago Alfonso, Malpaso, JJ and Raices Profundas.

Meanwhile, an international percussion competition counting almost 100 aspirants will take place in another venue, the Sala Avenida theater.

The Mella Theater's Gardens, the Music Hall at the Havana neighborhood of Miramar, the Havana-based Salon Rosado de La Tropical — where main dance music groups in Cuba perform — and El Elegante lounge at Riviera Hotel, will also host more than 1,500 dancers and musicians coming from half a dozen countries.

Cuban percussionist and president of the organizing committee, Giraldo Piloto, highlighted the performances by U.S. drummers Mark Giulliana, Will Calhoum and Craig Haynes, as well as Norwegians Per and Hans Mathisen, who will promote their most recent album in Havana.

The festival will also receive Memo Acevedo (Colombia), Jaquelene and Aldo Mazza (Canada), Nanny Assis (United States) and Marcus Santos (Brazil), and be the opportunity for the members of Uruguayan band Candombe Fussion 2 to reunite.

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