This September the 13th edition of Cuba’s festival of rumba known as Timbalaye Festival took place on a range of digital platforms due to Covid-19, watched by viewers in 100 countries.
Under the slogan ‘Conciencia de mis Origenes’ (Awareness of my Origins) the four-day event was broadcast on the Ministry of Culture (MINCULT)’s official YouTube channel, Cuban television’s Canal Clave and StreamingCuba.
The event was an opportunity to highlight the presence of rumba in Cuban culture, as well as to continue to protect this genre, which was added to UNESCO’s ‘List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ in 2016.
The programme of concerts and theoretical sessions, by rumba artists in Cuba and other nations, was popular in the United States, Italy, Mexico and Spain.
The festival included performances by the Rumbalay group, Portador Obba Koso group, Cienfuegos Children’s Folk Group, Rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Rumbata.
There was a special all day presentation with the focus on female rumba artists including Afroamérica, Thelmary and Habana Sana, Brenda Navarrete, the carrier group Tumba Francesa, Los Bejucos and a recital by Obini Bata.
Clearly women do sing and play rumba in Cuba. The Team Cuba de la Rumba project is an initiative that promotes this traditional music in the Cuban music scene and is committed to making women more visible in an arena that has tended to be exclusive to men.
The festival offered concerts, book presentations, interviews and theoretical exchanges of specialists of the genre on the Island.
Watch the concert of female rumba artists on youtube here