New Benny Moré cultural centre in Cuba

Why did you decide to create Benny More cultural centre?The centre was firstly created to fill a gap. Cienfuegos is proud to be the birthplace of Benny More, but the authorities of this province and the people who had the initiative of creating this institution recognize that this heritage is not sufficiently promoted, since they lacked a centre specifically for promoting Benny More's work. Until now, little was done, focused on one or another festival that are not held frequently.

What are you trying to achieve with this centre?First of all, to make an extensive research project. For me, the information centre is the core of this institution; in addition, from this centre will emerge the links with other insititutions like the Carlos Rafael Rodriguez University. In fact, the colloquium we are organizing on occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Aragón orchestra, is the result of a master's thesis from this university; a thesis which has opened a door to new research works and new products to commercialize.

How are you organizing the upcoming Festival?This centre is a supporting institution for the festival, which is officially scheduled for November, 2015. In late November, 2014, we will be launching the Festival, that must have an international nature.This event will become a festival of the arts, as it opens to the expressions of the authentic popular culture, that will include visual arts, cinema, street theatre, among other manifestations.We must achieve that Benny becomes an element of versatility and link of music with other arts. And, since Benny has given so much to think and talk about, the festival should also have a colloquium, there must be discussion around the figure of this great musician.We intend to convene three international contests on acting, dance and instrumentalists, where they perform Benny More's works.We will dedicate each contest to a different Cuban province, and get the people living there to come to Cienfuegos and bring the best of their culture and art.

Do you think there is more to be done in Cienfuegos on the figure of Benny Moré?The tribute to Benny More in Cienfuegos has its faults. The creation of this centre may help to create a network, that will bring together all the institutions having the name of Benny Moré, which have to be the first ones in expressing their commitment of promoting the music of El Bárbaro del Ritmo and put him at the highest position -aesthetically speaking.It is paradoxical that a restaurant can have the image of Benny Moré and the musical theme Cuando a Cienfuegos llegué, sells pizzas, or that the Café Cantante with name of Benny Moré becomes a wholesale market, or that the Benny More club does not promote the themes by El Sonero Mayor. Thus, you may realize there is so much work to do on occasion of Benny More's centennial, to be held in 2019.

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