SXSW presents first Cuban music showcase

Telmary Diaz

Telmary Diaz is among the featured artists at the Sounds from Cuba showcase.

For the first time in South by Southwest’s 30-year history, the festival will dedicate an entire showcase to Cuban music on March 18 at Speakeasy (412 Congress Ave.).

Over the years Cuban artists like songstress Danay Suárez have been featured at SXSW, but these performances mark the first Sounds from Cuba showcase with “an entire night dedicated to bands that currently reside and don’t plan to leave Cuba,” according to SXAméricas organizer Alicia Zertuche.

The showcase, which is presented by Roads & Kingdoms magazine and Cuban artist center Fábrica de Arte Cubano, features performers such as Afro-Latin jazz quintet Yissy & Bandancha and Telmary Díaz, a soulful rapper, singer and poet who is backed by a seven-piece band. Other artists include the young, rising R&B artist Daymé Arocena, who The Guardian described as having “all the makings of being the next major Cuban star.”

Rounding out the showcase are veteran performers X-Alfonso y La Flota and Kelvis Ochoa who will also speak at a SXSW music panel focused on the future of Cuban music as the country’s doors are beginning to open up.

Sounds from Cuba at SXSW Music 2016

8:30 p.m. Telmary
9:35 p.m. Yissy & Bandancha
10:40 p.m. Daymé Arocena
11:45 p.m. X-Alfonso Y La Flota
12:50 a.m. Kelvis Ochoa