“Last kiss”: a touching fragrance of farewell will flutter around the concerts Omara Portuondo has chosen to give this summer, backed by the gifted piano player Roberto Fonseca and his quarter. But the star from the Buena Vista does not lack cheekiness... What if this melodramatic title was in fact a nod, an allusion to the passionate relation this peerless performer of boleros and jazz songs has been maintaining for a half-century with her public? More than a bow out, this “last kiss” is an invitation to a romantic reunion: a rendez-vous with an open-hearted diva who, like Billie Holiday, Amalia Rodrigues or Mercedes Sosa, has found a universal language by looking at the deepest inward.

And as on the Cuban latitude, everything always ends with a dance, it is with the unbridled sounds and rhythms of the Orquesta Akokan that the party will continue. Signed on the Daptone record label, purvoyer of vintage soul, funk and blues, this intergenerational ensemble based both in New York and Havana is the emblem of the afro-latino renewal. Petulant horns, ace percussions, crooning vocals and tireless mambo will come to remind us that Cuban music always know how to postpone in style the moment to say goodbye.

Piano Roberto Fonseca Bass Yandy Martinez Percussions Ruly Herrera