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Cuba's Yissy García: A Fresh New Take On Tradition

If your knowledge of Cuban music stops at Buena Vista Social Club, let me introduce you to drummer Yissy García. She and her band, Bandancha, are perfect examples of how today's Cuban musicians ignore boundaries to create stylistic hybrids that have yet to develop accurate descriptions — or even names.

This video for "Mr. Miller" celebrates the "Afro" part of Afro-Cuban culture, an idea that came from director Héctor David Rosales. In the video, García and her band are decked out in white and playing white instruments in a conscious nod to their blackness. She writes in an email that the transition from all white to splashes of vibrantly colored powder symbolizes music's power to promote diversity, freedom and spirituality.

The imagery here is stunning, and the music reflects a new Cuban reality that most norteamericanos don't know about. Yet.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
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