After almost three years of pandemic recess, the long-awaited Havana World Music had its Reload edition on May 28 and 29 at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum in Havana and from May 26 on the stages of the Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

Due to the heavy rains during the days prior to the event, its Organizing Committee decided to boldly move the venue, as well as readjust the previously planned dates and concerts program. The unfavorable weather conditions generated unforeseen for the event to take place in a similar way to its previous editions, outdoors and with scenarios that allowed the public to be closer to the musicians. Even so, the Festival managed to bring together six artists from different countries: Rommel (Brazil), Mateo (Colombia), Waahli (Canada), Wesli (Canada), Tóke (Germany), and Bin Bun Balatón (Italy).

In addition, it summoned 14 Cuban artists and groups. X Alfonso, Carlos Varela, Héctor Téllez Jr., Haydée Milanés, Real Project and Nube Roja were present, along with the winners of the 2022 First Base Contest.

This group, part of the national cartel, offered their concerts at the Cuban Art Factory. Misifuz, Raulito Prieto, Los monos lácteos, Isla Escarlata, Kill the Party, KANBU and Manuel Bas showed their talent and the energy they are capable of to a full house. Havana World Music wishes these young musicians a career full of success and satisfaction.

To see more photos of these unforgettable moments, visit our gallery!

Every race begins at First Base.

The First Base Contest corresponding to this edition was announced on March 28. The call was open until April 28 and, approximately two weeks later, it was possible to announce the nine shortlisted. They came as guests from Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Havana and Pinar del Río, providing a truly national representation to the contest of new musical proposals on the Island.

The jury was made up of a varied group of specialists within the Cuban and international music industry: Dave De Rose (multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer from the UK); Daiana García Siverio (Orchestra Director, Cuba); Zammys Jimenez Denis (actress, singer and songwriter from Cuba); Rodrigo Sosa (Quenista and composer from Cuba); Gretel Garlobo (Musicologist and producer from Cuba); Brenda Navarrete (Cuban singer and percussionist); Oliver Valdés (outstanding Cuban musician); Yoana Grass (Cuban producer, lawyer and cultural entrepreneur); Yoyi Lagarza (Cuban pianist and composer).

One of the moments that we most enjoyed at the Festival, the meeting with the young talents, were the showcases of these pre-selected bands. These took place on May 24 at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, a space where the Festival always had all the possible support.

At the end of that night, the jury decided to award two prizes and three mentions. These were, in the Major category, for Ashe (Santiago de Cuba); in the producer DJ category, for Landeep (Havana); and they were awarded with mentions: Azilem (Villa Clara), Alexzoez & Wizzo Sanfer (Cienfuegos), and Lora Hoava (Matanzas).

Havana World Music Reload and its Primera Base contest would not have been possible without the collaboration and commitment of many allies. We especially thank the teams from Meliá Habana, Havana Club, Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the British Council, EGREM, the production company Four Wives and the Cuban Institute of Music for all their support so that this edition of our festival could continue to be a space of love for the music of Cuba and the world.