Music Brings Cuba and America Together Again

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In 1910, Cuba and America sang the same ragtime tunes. That all fell apart in the Cold War malaise of the 1950s and 1960s. But now, there's another chance.

Grammy-award winning musician Arturo O'Farrill has been living and playing latin jazz for decades. He was born in Mexico City to a Mexican mother and a Cuban father.

Artuor's father, Chico O'Farrill was a trumpeter, bandleader, and composer who formed relationships with musicians from the United States, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, and frequently incorporated African and latin beats.

That blended cultural identity is part of what drives Arturo as a musician today. He was working on an album in Havana with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra when President Obama made his announcement about the normalization of relations with Cuba last December.

But for Arturo O'Farrill, the estranged relationship between Cuba and the United States that has existed for much of his life has been like living with divorced parents—parents who once were in love and then turned their backs on one another

"Cuba and the U.S. had a [loving] relationship, it was a symbiotic love affair," O'Farrill says. "What happened was very akin to finding your lover in bed with someone else."

But he thinks there's hope for reconciliation.