Cimafunk and Soul Rebels to Perform at Historic Show in New Orleans

Cimafunk at Miami’s North Beach Bandshell. Photos: Eloy Costa

Cimafunk at Miami’s North Beach Bandshell. Photos: Eloy Costa

Cimafunk, Cuba’s hottest act exploding on the international music scene during his first US tour, will rock the house at Tipitina’s this Saturday. It’s the latest cultural connection between Havana and New Orleans, two cities that share so much in terms of architecture, history and music. Years of connections will come full circle when Cimafunk takes the stage at New Orleans’ landmark music venue.  John Clearly Herlin Riley will open for the Cuban sensation and the Soul Rebels will also make an appearance.  

New Orleans musicians caught word of “the Cuban James Brown” and his mix of Afro Cuban rhythms and funk and saw how he was turning Cuba and the Caribbean upside down. Cimafunk’s March SXSW performance sealed the deal - Cimafunk needed to bring his terapia to the Big Easy.

The feeling was mutual - and Cimafunk’s young band wanted to spend as much time as possible in New Orleans to walk the streets, meet with local musicians, see live shows, and explore shared histories between Cuba and New Orleans. CubaNOLA will host Cimafunk for a 5-day artist residency in New Orleans to experience important New Orleans performance traditions like gospel church services, second line parades, Mardi Gras Indians, and jazz. The band will spend nearly a week in the Southern City.

“For the musicians and people that haven’t been to Cuba, in my experience musically, the main connection is the style we bring from Africa—it’s the groove, the rhythm, and tribal state that those rhythms create….we’re very similar.” Cimafunk said on New Orleans-Cuba connections. “After I started seeing videos from New Orleans musicians in the street, it’s very similar to what we do in the carnivals in La Habana and Pinar del Rio.”

It’s no surprise the two cities are coming together. Last year, CET brought Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards to Cuba to learn about the long historic connections Louisiana and Cuba share through music, culture, the power of trading rice, and sheer proximity. This week, the Mayor of New Orleans is visiting Havana, exchanging with Cuban students and professionals and increasing ties between the cities 180 miles apart.

Tipitina’s is one of the most historic venues in the States and Cimafunk is slated to be one of the first Cuban acts to ever play at the venue. Tickets are 18+ and on sale here.

Next Up on Cimafunk’s US Tour:

4/10 - Asheville - The Grey Eagle - Tickets

4/13 - Atlanta - Fulton County SW Arts Center - Tickets at the door

4/15 - Manhattan - Panel discussion and jam session at AS/COA - Tickets

4/17 - Brooklyn - National Sawdust - Tickets

4/18 - Hartford - Real Art Ways - Tickets

4/19 - Matunuck, RI - Ocean Mist - Tickets the door

4/23 - Manhattan - DROM - Tickets

4/26 - LA - No Name - By invitation

4/30 - LA - The Grammy Museum - Tickets TBA

5/1 - Oakland - Complex Oakland - Tickets TBA

5/5 - Miami - 1-800-Lucky’s - Tickets TBA

Collin Laverty