Electronic musician Diplo and his Major Lazer project will be the first American act to play Cuba following the decision of the United States to restore diplomatic ties with the island nation. President Obama removed the country from the ‘Terrorist Sponsor’ list in 2015.
The musician will perform as part of a free concert in the country on March 6, in front of the U.S. Embassy. The concert is being sponsored by the Misicabana Foundation and the government of Cuba, according to a press release. Oddly enough, the musician will not be the first American to perform at this exact location, as Chris Cornell-fronted rock and roll group Audioslave played a concert there in 2005, well before American embargoes with Cuba were lifted.
The performance comes as a small part of a bigger cultural exchange between Cuba and the United States, with Diplo also helping to mentor Cuban electronic musicians during his time there. “As part of the cultural exchange, Major Lazer will meet with Cuban music students and young, up-and-coming local DJs who will share the stage with the group,” the press release said.
For his part, the musician seems extremely excited to visit Cuba, and to bring American electronic music to Cuban ears live for the first time.
“For as long as I can remember, Cuba has played an influential role on my love of music—Cuba has such a powerful cultural impact all over the world and for me, especially growing up in Florida, it became one of the biggest cultural centers for music to evolve from,” Diplo said of the upcoming event. “I was lucky enough to visit Cuba a few years back with my friends Calle 13 and during my four days there my mind was blown by the people, depth of culture, and their way of life. Going back to perform in 2016 and to be a part of the culture once again is a huge blessing and I couldn’t be more honored to bring the Major Lazer project there.”