Friday 20 January, 6:45pm
Raising funds for material aid to Cuba
The concert celebrates the 53rd anniversary of the Cuban revolution and all proceeds will be donated for sports equipment for Cuban youth, in the year of the 2012 London Olympics. The donation will be presented during our solidarity brigade to Cuba in February 2012.
Nearest tube: Warren Street
Eralys Fernandez – piano
Eralys studied piano at the Guillermo Tomas Music Conservatoire, the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and the Higher Institute of Arts in Cuba. In London she completed a Masters in Advanced Performance (piano and harpsichord) at the Royal College of Music, and a postgraduate course in harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Eralys’ repertoire includes early music, classical, latin jazz and flamenco. She is also an arranger and composer and in 2010 she released an album, An Afternoon in Havana, to critical acclaim. Click here to read more about Eralys Fernandez
Ahmed Dickinson - guitar
After graduating in Cuba from the Higher Institute of Arts, Ahmed came to England to study with Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell at the Royal College of Music. In 2006 he undertook further studies with Robert Brightmore at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Ahmed specialises in a repertoire by Cuban composers, from classical works to the more contemporary ‘filin’ movement. In September 2011 he launched his fifth release, Latin Perspective with the Santiago Quartet. The album features music by Leo Brouwer, Javier Alvarez and Miguel del Aguila. Click here to read more about Ahmed Dickinson
Emma Blanco - violin
Emma graduated from the Royal College of Music, where she was a co-leader with the National Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire ranges from classical and chamber to contemporary Latin and Cuban music. Since 2008 Emma has collaborated with Cuban musicians. Performing with Ahmed Dickinson and Hammadi Rencurell as Trio Mestizo, she released her first album, The Havana Suite, in 2011.
Neus Guiu - piano
From Tarragona, Catalonia, Neus graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Bacelona in 1999. After a postgraduate degree in piano and accompaniment in the Netherlands, Neus came to the Royal College of Music in London, where she gained a Masters in accompaniment in June 2008. She has performed both as soloist and accompanist in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
Sarah-Jane Lewis - (Mezzo-Soprano)
Sarah-Jane graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music in 2009. Her oratorio repertoire includes Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, Rossini and Dvorak.
Sarah Jane’s opera chorus work includes work for the Classical Opera Company in Cosi Fan Tutte and for Kenneth Branagh in the film version of The Magic Flute. In September 2011 Sarah-Jane began a Master of Arts programme at the Royal Academy of Music.
Organised by Rock Around the Blockade
Tel: 07865 453 033
On Saturday 8 October, the British campaign in solidarity with socialist Cuba, Rock around the Blockade (RATB), joined demonstrators at an anti-war assembly in Trafalgar Square, central London, on the 10th anniversary of the illegal occupation of Afghanistan. Under the slogan ‘Free the Five’, RATB explained how the case of the Cuban Five, who were working to prevent US-based terrorism against the Cuban people and the Revolution, exposed the utter hypocrisy of the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ - the pretext under which the imperialist countries fought to secure their geostrategic and economic interests.
The RATB stall received plenty of support and interest and handed out hundreds of statements with information about the unjust ‘supervised release’ of Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five, the previous day. Cuba has a heroic history of resistance to imperialism, surviving economic and military aggression to create a society which prioritises the welfare of its citizens with exceptional human development indicators.
RATB North East report
On Saturday 23 July Rock Around the Blockade North East held a lively street celebration for the anniversary of the 26 July attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953, which marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.
Rock around the Blockade – events in Britain in solidarity with the Cuban 5 – September 2011
On Saturday 10 September, as part of the international days of action for the Cuban 5, on the 13th anniversary of their incarceration in US gaols, members and supporters of Rock around the Blockade in Britain, supported by the Revolutionary Communist Group, held street rallies in four cities: in Glasgow by Donald Dewar Statue, in Newcastle at Grey’s Monument, in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens and in Trafalgar Square in London.
On 11 September 2010 activists from Rock Around the Blockade held lively protests in London, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne to demand Freedom for the Cuban 5 as part of the international day of action planned by the National Committee To Free The Five (freethefive.org) to mark the 12th Anniversary of their imprisonment.
In Newcastle in the north of England, activists collected petitions against the illegal imprisonment of the 5 Cuban heroes and asked passers by to sign cards of solidarity which will be sent to Gerardo, Antonio, Fernando Rene and Ramon individually. In Manchester, despite heavy rain, activists handed out hundreds of leaflets explaining the Five's case and struggle for freedom, during a colourful stall with flags and revolutionary Cuban hip hop blasting out onto the streets.
Revolution and reaction in Bolivia was the title of the meeting on 3 June 2009 organised by Rock around the Blockade, the Tawantinsuyu Movement and Bolivia Solidarity Campaign.
The meeting hall filled up quickly and the room was buzzing with excitement...on the platform was Marcelo from the Tawantinsuyu Movement, in the audience was Diana also from the Tawantinsuyu Movement...24 hours before they were both being held in Yarl's Wood detention centre, illegally abducted from Communications House and threatened with imminent deportation. An immediate campaign was launched by their friends and supporters, including members of all three organisations hosting this meeting. Action included excellent and urgent legal work, a barrage of faxes and phone calls to the Home Office, including the UK Border Agency and to the airline, preparations for demonstrations (and we were inspired by the recent successful actions coordinated by Colombia Solidarity Campaign to prevent the deportation of a young man)....at the eleventh hour the Home Office cancelled their removal and bail was granted. What a victory and what a lesson. As Nicki of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! said at the meeting, no one must be snatched in silence. It is clear that collective organisation is vital to raise the issue of Britain's racist immigration laws, the conditions in the detention centres and the deportations that go on daily, returning many people to situations where their lives are in danger.
RATB commemorates the 50 anniversary of Cuba's victory at the Bay of Pigs and the declaration of socialism
On Friday 6 May Rock Around the Blockade (RATB) packed Bolivar Hall in London for an event to commemorate the Cuban victory against the US-backed invasion at Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron) in April 1961 and the declaration by Fidel Castro of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution.
The event opened with live music from Peruvian singer Betty Rhaza and Chilean guitarist Fernando Vergara playing revolutionary songs dedicated to Camilo Torres and Che Guevara. They were followed by an impressive range of speakers covering many different aspects of the anniversary.
On Tuesday 8 June 2010 Bolivar Hall, London was packed for the big-screen premier of the new Rock around the Blockade (RATB) documentary Cuba: Defending Socialism, Resisting Imperialism.
The event began with introductions from the producers, Anthony Bairstow and Ethesham Haque, activists in RATB, who explained that most of the filming was done during a solidarity brigade to Cuba in spring 2009.
With just one camera, they returned to London with over 20 hours of footage and edited it into a 50-minute documentary which provides a snapshot of contemporary Cuba and the challenges faced by the socialist Revolution. The narrative comes from the Cubans they interviewed - an organic farmer, a state farmer, a lawyer, an economist, and a speech therapist. There is also an interview with a young Trinidadian studying for free at the International School of Sports of Physical Sciences in Havana.