Cuban sensation Cimafunk brings
Terapia to Tipitina’s,
Saturday, 4/6

Cuban music and culture share so much with New Orleans, and over the past several years we have been treated to numerous performances by Cuban artists, many of whom seem as excited to play in the city as local fans are to see them. Saturday night, Cimafunk, a young musician who has captured his country’s powerful musical spirit and soul since the release of his debut album, Terapia, will make his first appearance in New Orleans at Tipitina’s.

The show comes on the heels of an exhilarating set at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin a couple of weeks ago that had critics and music lovers buzzing. Cimafunk will be appearing with our own brass-heavy Soul Rebels.  Keyboardist Jon Cleary and his band featuring drumming legend Herlin Riley will be opening the show.

Cimafunk, who was born Erik Rodriguez, was named the 2018 “Artist of the Year” by Vistar magazine and was anointed a Billboard magazine “Top 10 Latin Artist to Watch” in 2019. He said, “There are so many connections between the musical cultures of Cuba and New Orleans. A night like this has been a dream of mine for a long time. We can’t wait to calentar (heat up) New Orleans!”

Cimafunk’s stage name is a portmanteau joining “Cimarron,” the singular form of “Cimarrones,” a word used across the African diaspora to described escaped slaves who formed independent communities during the slavery era, and “funk.” Of course, “funk” needs no definition. Cimafunk brings together the rich traditions of Cuba’s musical heritage to create a unique style that combines funk and R&B with Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Since I am giving a linguistic lesson here, “terapia” means “therapy” in Spanish and one listen to Cimafunk’s debut album suggests that a live performance will provide a much needed antidote to these times. The album is an utterly original creation and features a guest vocal from acclaimed Cuban vocalist Brenda Navarrete on the song, “Alabao.”

The show at Tipitina’s is part of a larger United States tour that includes visits to local schools and neighborhood programs in partnership with Cuba Educational Travel’s U.S. Cultural Exchange Program. While in New Orleans, a workshop is planned with students from the Trombone Shorty Foundation, as well as a variety of local artists and tradition bearers.

Show time is 10 PM. Tickets are available here.

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