Now based in British Columbia, of all places, singer-songwriter Alex Cuba is surely a long way from the homeland reflected in his stage name. Born in the town of Artemisa some 35 years ago, he grew up on the island with a guitar player father, Valentin Puentes, and took up guitar himself as a child. But his ticket out of Cuba didn't come until the late '90s, when he married a Canadian and eventually emigrated to her hometown. Still, the frigid north hasn't taken the sunshine out of Cuba's amorphous sound. In his teens and 20s, he specialized in playing jazz fusion, and though his new material is more melodic and structured, it still displays some of that style's percolating experimentation. And while he sings entirely in Spanish, the rhythms of his native country fade in and out seemingly at random. His is sort of a refined world pop, the kind that could even win over fans of surf-style troubadours such as Jack Johnson. This Thursday is a particularly good time to get acquainted with Cuba. His last appearance in Miami Beach was at last year's Fundarte-sponsored Global Cuba Music fest, whose tickets were too pricey for the average curious concertgoer. This time, Fundarte has wised up and made this Lincoln Road show free.
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