Students in Leeds perform in Latin music night
by Natasha Hickman
on: Thursday, 20 May 2004
In May, students at the Leeds College of Music, studying under Cuban maestro, Omar Puente, were inspired to put together their own latin music night to raise money for the Music Fund for Cuba. They had already formed two big bands playing latin music under the direction of Omar, so decided to give a special performance.
When seeking support they found enthusiasm – the local HiFi Club gave the venue for free, Havana Club rum donated rum for cocktails, TUMI records donated CDs for raffle prizes and another local venue Viva Cuba gave a voucher for a night out as the top prize. The local Love Music Hate Racism campaign gave encouragement as the event came just prior to local elections troubled by racism.
The night was great fun for all and raised over £600 for the Music Fund. For many of the students it was the first such event they had been involved in and organised, down to distributing the flyers, and said they enjoyed it so much they have plans for more such projects.
Some of the students said they feel they owe a debt to music education in Cuba, as without it they would not have learnt all they have from their teacher Omar, a product of Cuban music education