Eliades Ochoa interview: True son of Cuba

Published on Living.Scotsman.com , By JAN FAIRLEY
IT'S 7AM IN CUBA AND ELIADES Ochoa, the island's king of country music, is on the phone talking to me about his latest projects. Why so early? He laughs and tells me it's the habit of a lifetime; he's been up since 5am.
"I was born in the mountains around Gran Piedra outside Santiago de Cuba on a small farm you could only get to on horseback," he says. "My parents grew coffee and tobacco. My earliest memories are of us up there in that tiny finca on the hill with my father playing the tres guitar under the moon 'cos we didn't have any electricity or even running water. We made our own entertainment at night sitting out on home-made wooden benches, with my mother, uncle and us children all singing."

Orlando 'Cachaíto' Lopez dies

The Cuban bassist Orlando "Cachaíto" Lopez, who has died aged 76 from complications following surgery for pancreatic cancer, gained international fame as the bassist with Buena Vista Social Club. More importantly, Lopez's fluid, supple playing accompanied six decades of exceptional Cuban music-making – jazz, classical, mambo, salsa and fusion.

Havana Book Fair to open 12 February: One thousand New Titles and Six Million Copies

The annual International Book Fair in Cuba is due to open 12 February in Havana, extend across the country to close 8 March in Santiago de Cuba. Some 235 foreign publishers are expected to take part.