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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Legendary musicians bring Cuban sounds to Lisner Auditorium

The heat of Havana will consume GW when legendary Cuban musicians Ibrah?m Ferrer and Rub?n Gonz?lez join forces for a night of fiery rhythms and passionate ballads at Lisner Auditorium Wednesday. Gonz?lez at age 80 and Ferrer at age 72 still know how to intoxicate crowds with their classic style.

Orquesta Ibrah?m Ferrer and Rub?n Gonz?lez y su Grupo combine a variety of rhythms into a musical experience like no other. Known for their years of expertise in Cuban music and their recent comeback onto the mainstream musical scene, they recently performed on Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro-Cuban All Star’s A Toda Cuba le Gusta.

Ferrer released his debut album, The Buena Vista Social Club presents Ibrah?m Ferrer, in June after Cooder coaxed him out of retirement to sing on his Grammy-Award-winning recording.

Gonz?lez’s first debut solo recording, Introducing Ruben Gonz?lez, received worldwide acclaim after its release in 1997. The album came out 43 years after he first entered a recording studio.

Although Cuban music has been a staple of the cultural landscape and the basis for celebrated Havana clubs such as Tropicana and Buena Vista Social Club, the genre of music only recently emerged in America and since then has exploded worldwide.

Ferrer’s self-titled album features “Herido de Sombras,” a classic representation of the ballad. The song evokes mental images of a relaxed, social club late in the evening, as couples dance and enjoy each other’s company. The gems of Ferrer’s work are his ballads, where his sweet, unimposing voice is the quintessential Cuban lullaby.

In an up-tempo switch, Gonz?lez brings his piano expertise to the stage. The audience members are sure to be tapping their toes along with his rhythms. Despite his age, Gonz?lez still dazzles audiences – even with severe arthritis and a seven-year hiatus from the piano. That alone is worthy of respect.

The combination of the two Cuban legends along with their orchestras will mesmerize the audience at Lisner Auditorium. And the opportunity to see two people vibrantly doing what they love at such a late stage in life is something rarely one rarely sees. Ferrer and Gonz?lez are treasures not only for their music but also for their inspiring pasts. They prove that age doesn’t matter.

Orquesta Ibrah?m Ferrer and Ruben Gonz?lez y su Grupo perform at Lisner Auditorium 8 p.m. Wednesday. The performance is sold out, but a limited number of first-come, first-serve tickets will be available at 6:30 p.m. the day of the performance. Some of these seats are obstructed view.

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