Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Havana Cuba All-Stars: What Could Have Been

I went to Havana after Christmas and since then I’ve been daydreaming about it. The music, the people, the music. The music.

So of course I had been waiting for this night—the night that the Havana Cuba All-Stars would come to the pavilion at Old School Square—right here, in my own little town. The group is variously described as “the pulse of the Caribbean,” or Cuba’s “most prominent musicians”—a large ensemble playing music from 1940s Havana and beyond. Lots of rhythm, soulful ballads, dancing, salsa—I could only imagine.

But then there was that other thing: a stalled front positioned directly over Boca-Delray-Boynton that promised to dump torrents of rain over the open lawn of Old School Square, directly where I would be sitting.

I emailed the folks at Old School Square yesterday afternoon to see if there was a Plan B for rain and was told the concert would go on, “rain or shine.” They said people could cram into the narrow loggia to sit or stand if it got bad but there were too many tickets sold to move the concert inside to the Crest Theater. And besides, they said, many people in the past just suited up in rain gear and stuck it out.

Well, I have no idea what kind of rain gear it would have taken to withstand last night’s deluge. Maybe a lobsterman out of New Bedford could have pulled it off but not this girl.

Still, I had not given up. I watched Steve Weagle, I scanned the WPTV Doppler radar map, I prayed.

And then, as I watched sheets of rain turn my front yard silver, I realized I was not going to this concert. I would not be dancing in the aisles. I would not hear the sounds of Havana over the roar of the monsoon that was already beginning.

I do not want to blame Old School Square—I love Old School Square—but I do think a Plan B should be better than herding people into that narrow little loggia where they would have gotten soaked, anyway. I am disappointed and I am sad. I wanted this blog to be about a great Cuban band that celebrated the heritage of Cuba—not one that I did not see.

But we blog, as they say, rain or shine. And all I can hope is that there is a next time for me and the Havana Cuba All-Stars.


Marie Speed
Marie Speed is group editor of all JES publications, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Worth Avenue, Mizner’s Dream and the annual publication for the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. She also oversees editorial operations of the company’s Salt Lake City magazines. Her community involvement has ranged from work with the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to a longtime board member position at Caridad Center. She is also on the George Snow Scholarship Fund review committee. She is a past officer of the Florida Magazine Association and a member of Class XVII of Leadership Florida. In her spare time, Marie enjoys South Florida’s natural world through hiking and kayaking, and she is an avid reader and an enthusiastic cook.

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