This week, Barrie was fortunate to host two musicians from Cuba, Yenobis Delgado Alba and Reimy Perez Bauta, known together as Blanco y Negro. Head of School Charlie Abelmann encountered the duo during an educators’ visit to Cuba this past year. “I met Yenobis and his father when I visited a youth theater group,” Charlie said. Their first meeting sparked the idea of planning a visit. But finalizing the trip wasn’t easy, requiring a deft navigation of the complexities of acquiring visas and permissions for the visit. (Abundant thanks go to Kitty Jones for her perseverance in securing the necessary documentation, arrangements, and details in making this visit possible.)
“We’re thrilled to host these guest artists from Cuba,” Charlie said. “We worked hard with government agencies, both here and in Cuba, to bring this truly unique experience to our students and community.”
During their visit to Barrie, Yenobis and Reimy visited and performed for students in every division. They worked with Tyrone’s voice classes, jammed with David’s music classes, shared Cuban culture with Estela, Rachelle, and Anna’s language classes, and immersed Anne’s Lower School music classes in la musica Cubana. Charlie hosted an event for the duo at his house on Thursday night, where they played with David and Sarah, and their week was highlighted by a performance at Friday night’s Barrie Blends event.
Blanco y Negro was formed by Yenobis and Reimy in 2004 in the city of Santa Clara, a city about three hours east of Havana. They have been guests of the TAINO Cuban radio station and various musical television programs. The video for one of their songs, ‘Amor de Izquierda,’ was nominated to compete in the Cuban LUCAS video clip festival. The duo works with adolescents in their community to help them develop performance, singing, and music skills.
Yenobis, the drummer, also sings, composes, and directs the groups’ educational efforts. He was a member of the Villa Clara professional Chorus from 1997-2004. Reimy plays guitar, and also acts as composer, singer, and music arranger. He studied classical guitar, and performed as part of the group Sol Caribe that toured Spain for three months. Both play many percussion instruments, including bongos, wiro, maracas, clave (chopsticks that resemble drumsticks), and congas.
They currently perform at the Memories chain of hotels in Villa Clara and The Royalton Resorts and Spas, also in Villa Clara.