Keeping it real.

     When you think of Cuba, you think Music.  Music that carries no barriers or restrictions to where or when it may be expressed or to whom the audience it is that receives it.  It is as real, and alive as the people that create and breathe it.  It is one of the main reasons I fell in love with the island.  There is this palpable and contagious energy that vibrates and is exuded from the musicians and the people.  You can't help but to be affected by it. It seems to get a hold of your heart and soul and move your body without even knowing it's happening.   This energy can be found almost anywhere in Cuba but the biggest place to catch it..is right on the streets.  Pouring out, and unfolding right in front of you, like it was a performance solely made for you to see and hear.  It doesn't matter if they are classically trained since birth or just feel the need to express for a day.   To top it off, it seems hard to get bored with a different block, delivering a different genre. From salsa, to flamenco to classical to Boleros.  Here is an one of many examples of the raw, vibrant music scene happening in Cuba these days. 

     On a random Sunday stroll through the streets of havana, I had just turned the corner to find a group of guys gathering in front of a little meat shop, when one guy started singing.  After being in Cuba for over a month, I was quick to be able to capture these type of random moments as they arose.  It was so spur of the moment and casual, that it didn't even have enough time to draw a crowd.  As I was filming,  the men in the background started filling me in on the details of the front man.  I couldn't really focus on both, but it sounded like they said something about this man being a boxer of sorts.  It wasn't until I returned that I decided to investigate that a bit more.  Using the handy internet, I was indeed able to match their story, the name, and a photo to the face of the man singing. It turns out that he was a Cuban boxer.  His name is  JOSE LEGRA.  A boxer from the 60's who had won several WBC featherweight champion in 1968 and 72 among others.  It was great to capture this random moment with his friends.  I particularly like the backup knife sharpening sound. Very original and authentic.  Life on the streets of havana, so real, raw and beautiful.  Love it.

 Jose Legra

Jose Legra