The driving force behind Manana was a love for the music of Santiago & a belief that collaborations with electronic artists would create a living music that would connect audiences & draw the attention of the international music community. The feedback has been incredible and we are more motivated than ever to re-organise and push Manana forwards.
"Without a doubt one of my biggest highlights this year and overall in my DJ career was to be able to represent Fania Records at the historic Manana // Cuba festival in Santiago de Cuba earlier this year. It was an experience I'll never forget."
Jose Marquez, Fania Records
The artists we selected for Manana 2016 were chosen based upon their ability to cross boundaries, weave relevant narratives, and pull audiences together. They are dynamic live performers motivated by both preserving musical roots, and exploring new musical ground through collaboration.
"Thank you Manana [...] I had an incredible time & met some of the most talented artists & people from around the world. Stellar staff & lineup. It was a musical awakening for me."
Sabine Blaizin, Oyasound
In the fortnight before the festival seven collaborations were prepared between international electronic and local folkloric and contemporary Cuban musicians. Rehearsals were organised in theatres, jazz clubs, and community spaces throughout the city with translators and producers on-hand to support the creative process. The majority of these were also recorded in the world famous EGREM studios. Below are photos from Plaid, Quantic, Soundspecies, Sherwood, Pouya Ehsaei & Nicolas Jaar's sessions.
"It was life changing. Can't wait to get back to mixing the work and Cuba. Thanks for everything!"
Andy Turner, Plaid
"I can't think of a festival that was friendlier, more low-key, and just plain fun throughout"
David Garber, Thump
Right from the start we believed the only way Manana would work was if the international artists and staff were connected to the communities where the music is most alive. We organised jam sessions, street parties, ceremonies and concerts in the run up the festival, shared plenty of rum, and created the right spirit to make the festival a success.
"All week, locals and visitors socialised and collaborated, gamely crossing an often huge cultural divide. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these friendships outlast the festival."
Angus Finlayson, Resident Advisor
We are hugely grateful NYU Music + Social Change Lab and Ableton for participating in this year's workshop programme. Carlos Chirinos from NYU delivered a specially tailored lecture for Cuban artists and music entrepreneurs, while Ableton sent out a certified trainer to host intimate workshops, visit studios, and share knowledge with the producers of Santiago. Music hardware companies, Elektron, Native Instruments and Vermona, also donated equipment for the local studios.
"Fue una experiencia llena de sentimientos encontrados [...] Una semana de Workshops, se sintieron como 2 años de experiencias comprimidas en 2 tragos de ron."
Christian Sanchez, Ableton
"Manana has been one of the sickest experiences. Learnt so much over the last couple days & the music has been insane! Nuff love."
Crissi Vassilakis, Madam X
Manana began as a musical dialogue between three friends in the barrios of Santiago de Cuba, but it can now count on the support of an incredible network of acclaimed partners and sponsors that are helping bring this project to life. Each of them is an expert in their respective industry, and we are incredibly grateful for their hard work and support, without which Manana 2016 would never have been possible. Our special thanks goes out to Havana Cultura, Fania Records, Thump & Resident Advisor for believing in, and sponsoring the project.
"Last month I made the trip to Santiago de Cuba to take part in the Manana Festival with my Calentura Fania Records Family. I will be forever changed by this trip..."
Azul Amaral, Fania Records