Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Fabien Pisani – Cuba’s New Musical Landscape: Opportunities for Cultural Exchange and Entrepreneurship

Monday, March 14, 2016


McKinney Conference Room

As diplomatic rapprochement with the United States continues to progress, Cuba faces the prospect of greatly improved communications, increased access to technology and financial services, and the reopening of direct transportation links with its close neighbors to the South and North. How will this new situation affect music production and the cultural dynamics of Cuba? Will new opportunities arise for tapping Cuba’s wealth of musical talent and creativity that could, in turn, help Cuba reassert its historic role as a cultural leader in the Americas? Alternatively, will the economic and cultural power of the international music and media industries weaken the creative capacity of Cuban artists, leading not to equal exchange and fruitful hybridization but to homogenization and sterile corporatization?

Fabien Pisani, Director and Founder of Musicabana Foundation. Musicabana is a New York and Havana-based organization that promotes mutual understanding between the people of Cuba, the United States, and the rest of the world, through year-round musical, artistic, and cultural events that emphasize and enrich shared history, traditions, and values. Musicabana is currently organizing an International Music Festival slated for May 5th-8th in Havana Cuba that will showcase a multi-genre lineup featuring more than 30 artists, bands, and DJs from around the globe. As part of the Cuban Transitions Lecture Series Fabien Pisani will be discussing his work as a cultural entrepreneur bridging Cuba and the United States.

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