For decades, HotHouse was one of only a handful of U.S. based organizations importing key voices from one of the world’s most cherished crucibles of music. This stalwart dedication to presenting Afro-Caribbean culture has been a key feature of our work and was evidenced further in our noteworthy Jazz en Clavé Festivals and more recently in our People-to- People Travel Exchanges to Cuba.
The Chicago-Guantánamo Blues Exchange is an ad-hoc cohort of musicians/scholars and educators that travel to Guantanamo, Baracoa and Santiago, Cuba to perform and participate in educational workshops. The main purpose of the project is to facilitate cross-cultural awareness for genres of traditional music and related cultural practices that have migrated throughout the African diaspora. As a consequence of the social and economic inequities held over from the slave trade, many of these cultural practices and their practitioners remain virtually isolated and unknown to one another.
A second goal Exchange Project is to re-contextualize Guantánamo(for people in the US) who only know the place as a military base and detention center. Our project seeks to re-locate the Province as primarily a place for rich Afro-Cuban cultural traditions that have been preserved and nurtured over centuries. This event will raise money to subsidize artists travelling in 2019 as well as collect instruments for a music school in Santiago de Cuba.