Karen Briggs: «Before Coming to Cuba I Knew I was Going to Love It»

Karen Briggs: «Before Coming to Cuba I Knew I was Going to Love It»
Fecha de publicación: 
27 May 2022
Imagen principal: 

I already knew a spectacular violinist would accompany the Cuban musician Nachito Herrera at the opening concert of Cubadisco 2022. Karen Briggs was born in Manhattan, New York, United States. She has played in half of the world and with musicians as virtuous as her (the best known reference is the band of the Greek pianist Yanni). But when she arrived in Cuba, more expressive than the pink color of her shirt, there was no language, no cultural difference, no artistic range, that could make her foreign, not even distant.

«Before playing with Yanni, what you don't know is that I already knew the Cuban music, I had already had experiences with Cuban music, even I played at a club called Miami Space, where I met many Latin musicians like Papo Conga... », she said.

«There I played charanga, rumba, salsa, and I learned a lot from the Cuban music; I learned to play many rhythms, which greatly expanded my musical repertoire, things they don't teach you in conservatories, and helped a lot to expand my musical scope, that's precisely why I was able to do those great solos, those complex solos, even my first international tour was with Soul II Soul. It was a project where you had to sing and play the violin at the same time. It was very complicated and could pull through precisely because I knew Cuban music and had that experience. It’s very good music, I love it », she asserted.

We talked before she made headlines for conquering the Cubadisco 2022, long before she exchanged with students and professors at the National School of Art. She had just arrived on the island and she already felt:

"Delighted, excited to be here, I'm ecstatic to be here and I thank you very much. Before I came I knew that I was going to love it, I knew I would. I have been trying to travel to Cuba for a long time and, luckily, a few years ago, around 2015, I met Nachito, we played together in Minneapolis, we've played together several times ever since and I said: you have to take me to Cuba, to fulfill that dream. Maybe it took a long time, maybe thirty years, but finally I'm here, I'm thankful, I'm over the moon and really home."

This was her first, but she is sure it will not be her last visit to Cuba. In fact, when she asked about the possibility of recording some material on the island, she was straight like an arrow: «I’d love to be able to do that, practically consider it done.”

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff


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