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Carnival de Cuba

logo.jpgWith luck the sun will be shining in London this weekend if only because Southwark Park is hosting the two day Carnival de Cuba, Europe’s largest Cuban carnival. It features two days of great Cuban and Latin music and dancing, along with bars, cantinas and numerous stalls selling Cuban, Caribbean and other food.

Salsa is a fusion of Rumba, Son, Guaracha, Mambo, Cha cha cha, Danzon, Charanga, Merengue and jazz. Carnival de Cuba features salsa along with more traditional Cuban styles as well as new music such as Timba and Reggaeton, a fusion originating in Panama that mixes reggae, hip hop and latin music.

Among the acts performing this weekend are Sur Caribe Cuba’s top Salsa/Conga band who are also playing at this year’s Glastonbury, legendary vocalist Pedrito Calvo, group Septeto Tipico el Tivoli on the first trip to the UK, Cuban hip hop star Papo Record and Kid Afrika who sings over hip hop, reggaeton and afro-cuban beats. They’ll also be DJ’s playing Latin music and what they describe as ‘one of the best line-ups of Cuban, Latin and UK-based dance performers ever assembled for a Carnival event.’ They’re also holding free dance workshops and lessons so you can get up to speed and look like a natural.

Carnival de Cuba is on from 12 noon-9.30pm, 16-17 June and admission is free. Southwark Park is on the south side of the River Thames, approximately 1 mile east of Tower Bridge along Jamaica Road. The Carnival is happening at the north end of the park with access through the Jamaica Road gates. The nearest Tubes are Rotherhithe on the East London Line or Bermondsey on the Jubilee Line.