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On Friday 20 January, the audience in Bolivar Hall was treated to a feast of classical music at Rock around the Blockade's delightful evening to celebrate the 53rd year of the Cuban revolution and to raise funds for the organisation's February brigade to Cuba. £800 was raised, with all the money going for material aid for children in hospital and sports equipment. Guitarist Ahmed Dickinson, mezzo soprano Sarah-Jane Lewis, Eralys Fernandez on piano and Emma Blanco on violin, along with accompanist Neus Guiu Ritort, performed a variety of pieces from Bach and Bartok to English composer Myers, Italian composer Domenicon, Spanish composers including Obradors, de Falla and the Catalan Albeniz, Argentinian composers Piazzolla and Guastavino and Cuban composers Grenet and Lecuona.
Eralys and Ahmed are from Cuba, examples of the musical talent that the Cuban Revolution has nurtured and encouraged. Eralys gave a short and informative introduction about the composers. The audience was blown away by her virtuouso performance. By a happy coincidence, she comes from Guanabacoa, the part of Cuba where the brigade will spend half its time and where the brigadistas will contribute their voluntary labour.
After the musicians took their bow, Eralys and Sarah-Jane returned for an encore and Sarah-Jane sang Habanera from Bizet's Carmen with Eralys on the piano - a passionate end to a fantastic evening.
Rock around the Blockade thanks all the performers and all those in the audience who were very generous in their donations.