Pandemic upends plans, lives of renowned Cuban musicians
(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)HAVANA – Renowned Cuban musicians are turning to the internet or seeking other jobs to survive a pandemic that has closed bars, clubs and tourist venues across an island that only days ago reopened its airport to visitors after a nearly eight-month lockdown. To celebrate, she organized a concert along with the Failde Orchestra and the Muñequitos de Matanzas that streamed online for free. Meanwhile, pianist and composer Chucho Valdés offered an online concert for ticketholders while troubadour Silvio Rodríguez released a digital album featuring 13 songs. “The bad thing is it’s expensive.”While some musicians receive small stipends from the Cuban government, the livelihood of thousands of others depended on playing at restaurants, bars and tourist attractions. Cuba has reported more than 7,500 COVID-19 cases and more than 130 deaths as the island slowly reopens.