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Global Cuba Fest 2009

It's been 50 years since Castro took power, and still the stretches of ocean surrounding Cuba can't stop the flow of its people's creative juices. The second annual Global Cuba Fest pays homage to the continuity of this unique Caribbean culture by uniting artists who long ago spread to the far reaches of the planet. Emblematic of their exodus, these vanguardistas break all sorts of geographic and cultural boundaries without losing their island identities.

FUNDarte and Miami Light Project kick off the series Friday with the closest thing to traditional that one can get this side of the Straits of Florida: two-time Grammy winner Albita. Considered a classic among her contemporaries, she mixes it all together with dance and soul. On Saturday, Canada transplant Alex Cuba pushes soul even further with a melancholy yet serendipitous concoction of trova, funk, and rock that is retro in the most mod sense of the term. On Sunday, contemporary purists will be pleased to hear that Cuban jazz jams on in all its splendor. Backed by a smattering of piano and drums, Yosvany Terry will squeeze all sorts of emotive notes out of his sax.

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