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All month, World Cafe invites listeners to discover the music of Havana, Cuba, with the series Sense of Place.
In today's World Cafe session — recorded live in Havana, Cuba — host David Dye features the Cuban progressive rock group Síntesis, formed in 1972. The Cuban band rose to fame during the '80s and '90s, and is well known throughout the world, though it hasn't achieved the same recognition within the U.S., due in part to the country's embargo against Cuba. (However, ever since the late '90s, the group has been allowed into the states.)
Here, Carlos Alfonso, a former member of the Cuban fusion jazz band Irakere, and his wife Ele Valdés, the original singer and keyboardist from the 1970s version of Síntesis, talk about how the band combines rock and jazz influences with Afro-Cuban Santeria ritual music. Síntesis pulls inspiration directly from Africa, and even sings in the Yoruba language.
In the video on this page, watch Síntesis perform "Ochimini."
World Cafe's Sense of Place is made possible by a grant from The Wyncote Foundation.