June 2015


Festival: Música Cubana en Berlin

Friday 26.06.2015 5:00 PM | Entire House

Admission: Day Pass: 20 / 15 / 10 €

Organizer: Werkstatt der Kulturen




Forced migration from Africa and voluntary migration from Europe led to the development of a plethora of music genres and dances in Cuba. The festival MÚSICA CUBANA EN BERLIN will be taking place from 25 - 27 June 2015 at the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN. With concerts, dance and percussion workshops, films, talks, live music parties and an exhibition, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN provides a glimpse into the diversity of the Cuban music culture in Berlin.

Program: Day 2

In the 18th century, Guaracha came into existence, which is still today a popular type of dance song with often ambiguous, satirical or salacious texts;

In the middle of the 19th century, the unmistakable Son Cubano was developed; as were the improvised songs of Trova in the Eastern part of the country - a music which fuses Afro-Cuban percussion with guitar music of Spanish farmers.

The Mambo, which originally meant "religious conversation" or prayer or a sacred rite, is a popular type of music and dance, which was developed in the 1930s in Cuba.

The Rumba is a popular Cuban partner dance, which has become a standard in social and tournament dancing in many industrialized countries since the 1960s and in 2013 was declared by the World Dance Council as 'Dance of the Year'. In the 19th century, 'Rumba' (as well as Milonga, Bachata and Timba) was used to describe social get togethers accompanied by music. As a mix of dance, vocals and percussion, Rumba emerged in the black neighborhoods of Havana and Matanzas, but was also practiced in the sugar cane plantations.

Cuban music has always been very popular and influential outside of Central and South America. In the 1980s, the music made its way to Berlin - with Son Cubano, the Nueva Trova and Salsa by the internationally-renown Cuban bands Irakere and Los Van Van, Cuban musicians continue to shape the music and dance culture of the capital.

PROGRAM | FRIDAY, 26 June 2015

Day Pass: 20 / 15 / 10 €


An event in cooperation with and within the framework of 48 Stunden Neukölln



Chico & Rita

2010 | D: Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba | Spain | 94 min | German, English, Spanish with German Subtitles

Chico & Rita is an animated film and is set in Havanna, New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood and Paris in the late 1940s and early 1950s.


The somewhat older jazz pianist Chico Valdes is listening to the radio, when suddenly his own song is being played. Composed over 60 years ago and sung by the love of his life, Rita Martínez, he remembers back to 1948 when he met the ravishing singer. With a heavy heart, Rita leaves Cuba to establish her career in New York with a contract from a wealthy American businessman in her bag. Chico goes with her, but shortly before their planned wedding in Las Vegas, he is forced to return to Cuba due to some scheming by his manager and his passport is confiscated.

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Lucumi: The Rumbero of Cuba

1995 | D: Tony Gatlif | France | 27 min | English (no subtitles)



Lucumi, the protagonist of the film, is 10 years old, lives in Havanna and dreams of becoming a great Rumbero - a Cuban street percussionist. Together with other kids in the neighborhood, he improvises Rumbas with old cans, pots and pans.

One Saturday, the best musicians of Cuba organize an event to pay homage to the founder of Afro-Cuban Jazz, Chano Pozo. Here, Lucumi meets the Rumbero greats and wakes up the old spirits of the tumbadora (congas).


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Desapalencao - Lucumi

Ever heard drums with two drumheads that sound like dripping water? Ever felt the vibration of a drumhead on your skin? Let the intuition of sound guide you?

Desapalencao opens to the public the world of sound based on the Cuban Batás. In this event, the artists teach us about the age-old fascination with drums and the hypnotic effect they have on us in an entertaining manner. Words and traditional songs, performance and polyrhythms come together to form powerful sound images.


This evening, Desapalencao will draw from the rich world of Congo and Yoruba musical cultures of Cuba.

Based on traditions from the Congo, Palo Monte has been in Cuba since the Spanish colonial era. Music, song and dance occupy a special place in this culture. Everyday situations, forces of nature, ancestors, life and death are celebrated. Congas and everyday objects from agricultural labor are used as instruments.

Rooted in the traditions of the West African Yoruba - known in Cuba as Lukumí, Arará and Iyesá - the Regla de Ocha was developed. This cult variant aims at the harmonization of the person. Venerated in particular are the Orishas, to whom archetypal forces and human qualities are attributed. Each Orisha has his / her own unique songs, rhythms and dances. Desapalencao will present the rhythms of Orishas on the double-headed batá drums, of which three form one unit.

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Hendrik Rojas is an exceptionally versatile artist. He lives and works in Berlin as a singer-songwriter, traditional tres player, illustrator and capoeirista.

He is fascinated in particular by classic Cuban musicians such as Bola de Nieve, Benny Moré, and Cesar Portillo de la Luz. But contemporary singer-songwriters, the “Trovadores”, such as Pablo Milanes, Gerardo Alfonso and Carlos Varela, and young musicians who he met on the streets of Havana, also inspired him. He began to incorporate funk and hip-hop elements using the tres into his songs, thereby presenting the instrument in an entirely new light. In 2005 he produced his first recordings together with other Cuban musicians. His musical creations now fuse together a range of different genres such as Trova, Salsa, Latin Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Pop and Hip Hop.



  • Hendrik Rojas - bass
  • Luis Enrique Spengler-Calderin - voc
  • Pedro Abreu - voc
  • Thibault Falk - piano
  • Ye Young Hwang - violin
  • Agustin Strizzi - drums
  • Angel Candeaux - percussion
  • Carlos Martines Barreto - DJ




Electrolatin Freestyle

In Berlin since 1996, DJ Bongo has been fusing Central and South American traditional and electronic music. He is part of the core team of the Berlin DJ collective La Regla and mixes 1960s Boogaloo with 1970s Salsa from New York as well as Afrobeat and Hip Hop.

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