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Articles Photo: Pablo Larrralde. Courtesy of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

A Jazz Emprende is made in Havana

Jazz Emprende arrives, in its first edition, to update us on the panorama of the music industry. On February 28 and 29, this novel experience took place at Fábrica de Arte Cubano (F.A.C.), which opened its doors to address, with a different approach, the current musical and business scenario, specifically in the field of jazz.

As an essential purpose, Jazz Emprende set out to connect various ideas about the world of entrepreneurship in the development of our context. During the two days, twenty-four presentations took place between F.A.C.'s Nave 3 and 4, and the Humberto Solás Hall, where the Jazz Emprende Studio session took place., a space for interviews with the artists and entrepreneurs invited to the event.

In the first session, percussionist Aldo Mazza pointed out in his workshop on the music business the need to build on what we have learned, so that we can generate original ideas that materialize into necessary solutions. Mazza demonstrated that it is essential to keep our creative mindset active, as it can better develop us as people.

Photo: Pablo Larralde. Courtesy of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

Later, at the conference on business linkages in the Cuban economy, four very dynamic companies were presented within the commercial framework on the island: Havana Club and NIHAO 53 presented their platforms. on-line and the services they provide to the private sector, which facilitate greater access and enjoyment of the product by the customer; while TropiPay, the popular electronic wallet, explained the different payment options they offer, and the Dutch company Caribbean Container Solutions explained how their company is committed to the development and marketing of modified containers, which provide excellent comfort and are custom-made for the customer.

The presentations focused on production chains, and did not fail to mention the weaknesses and strengths that must be taken into account in each type of enterprise. It was important to note that these businesses strive to be decisive players in the local market that contribute to territorial development. In this sense, it is important to highlight the comprehensiveness of their service and their commitment to the client.

The Jazz Emprende Studio sessions were well received by the audience and brought together several personalities for a dynamic meeting led by journalist Rafa G. Escalona. It was a space to learn more about the work of figures such as Javier Fernández Poyo (Spain), Oscar Fernández (Cuba), Jason Olaine (USA), Jahi Lake (USA), X Alfonso (Cuba) and Robert Glasper (USA).

Photo: Eduardo Reyes. Courtesy of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

Guided by Rafa's questions, the interviewees shared relevant aspects of their work and their way of seeing life. An example of this were the meetings with American DJ Jahi Lake and X Alfonso. Lake talked about his musical creation and the different genres it encompasses, while highlighting the important presence of hip-hop, technologies, and the cultural legacy of the African-American community in his creation. X Alfonso also spoke to the public about his soul as a creator; he talked about the gestation of Fábrica de Arte Cubano and his different facets as a human being, musician, audiovisual producer and entrepreneur. Both artists were committed to the advantages of working together, based on personal experience that has shown them that, despite the difficulties, a united team with a sense of belonging is the key to achieving objectives.

On the other hand, in a discussion on The business side of jazzJason Olaine presented the various contradictions of the producer's work within the artistic framework, in which it is essential to maintain cooperation with the business community. In response to some of the doubts expressed by the audience regarding market positioning, Jason suggested improving project strategies, assisting and guaranteeing the artist a reliable work.

In an impromptu manner and once again led by Rafa G. Escalona, a panel emerged with the organizers of the event: Ruly Herrera, leader of the Real Project group; Sandra Lopes, general producer of Fábrica de Arte Cubano; Marta Deus, director of Negolution magazine, and Lilian Triana, representing the event production company Four Wives.

Photo: Eduardo Reyes. Courtesy of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

The dialogue about the creation of Jazz Emprende revealed the interest in generating the participation of young creators and linking the universes of jazz and entrepreneurship. It was a valuable opportunity to deepen the processes of management and creation in both sectors. The idea prevailed that, despite the differences in approach, the important thing is to manage and build a joint path that has social development as a premise.

Another highlight of the event was the pleasant talk that took place in the context of the They Speak, This time it was attended by Idania del Río, one of the founders of the Clandestina brand.. The testimony of her work as a designer, the strengths and limits she has had to deal with made her see how entrepreneurship can build and motivate people to lead a different lifestyle.

Photo: Eduardo Reyes. Courtesy of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

Another of the most attractive lectures was given by the expert Javier Fernández Poyo, with the conference Innovation and EntrepreneurshipIn his speech, he referred to the entrepreneurial system in Spain and talked about the importance of knowing about technological trends and their influence on innovation.

In the section on Venture Pitches Unesco, Mandao, Negolution and Pilares Construcciones, who share a common strategy: integration towards social improvement with multidisciplinary activities. Several projects of artistic transcendence were also involved, such as Jamila Falak, a bassist, singer and multifaceted entrepreneur from Jamaica, and Jacmel Jazz Festival., a festival held in southeastern Haiti since 2015, where better education and artistic level is promoted for the working population between 7 and 35 years old.

Requested Master Class The music of Derrrik Hodge and Robert Glasper attracted the attention of all the participants, especially the students of the different centers of artistic education in the city. Bassist Derrick Hodge gave details of the influence of the guitar and the accentuated rhythmic style in his musical training.  For his part, Robert Glasper won over the audience with his engaging personality. The outstanding musician, winner of several Grammy awards, emphasized his musical narrative and the essence of the roots of black music and the significance of that sector in the evolution of society. He also insisted that understanding history makes us know ourselves even better and expressed his feelings about representing millions of people with his work, of which he is proud.

Of course, the nights of the event were the protagonists of the event and featured the participation of the best of today's jazz. The opening concert given by Ruly Herrera and Real Project featured guests such as Yaroldy Abreu, Emir Santa Cruz and Lázaro Peña. The second night maintained the high level with the presentation of Yasek Manzano, Eme Alfonso, pianist Aldo López Gavilán, Roberto Fonseca, DJ Jahi Lake and the expected Robert Glasper.

Photo: Sergio García. Courtesy of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

Undoubtedly, Jazz Emprende is here to stay for a long time. Although scheduling conflicts prevented participation in all sessions, the organization and the diverse offer of activities at Jazz Emprende show the growth potential of the initiative. The impact left by its conferences as a form of promotion and motivation for entrepreneurs is gratifying and augurs better quality and greater attendance for future editions. Its organizers demonstrated that big opportunities are born if you know how to take advantage of the small ones. We look forward to what the second edition of Jazz Emprende will bring.

Photo: Pablo Larralde. Courtesy of Sandra Lopes.

Rocio Saylen Padilla More posts

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  1. Julio César Cairo Pérez says:

    Very good article, graphic with words what the author experienced in the jazz days. Enlightening annotations that reflects the spirit of the genre and allows the reader to be aware of the events. Thanks and congratulations to the specialist.

  2. Nany Zulueta says:

    Wow What a beautiful report. As a participant of the event I give credit to all that is captured here and I look forward to a repeat experience. Thanks to the organizing committee

  3. Brenda says:

    Great that the jazz movement is growing on the island and strive to reach a wider audience, the younger ones, even all the provinces; so that our ears are educated with good music.

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