Rocker Jon Bon Jovi departed Cuba yesterday after three day visit in which he toured historic sites and expressed an interest in playing on the island.
The vocalist and guitarist, accompanied by his wife and several friends, visited Factory Cuban Art (FAC) where he shared time with fans and musicians and spoke with Alfonso X, David and Ernesto Blanco as well as film producer Inti Herrera.
The 54 year old musician commented that, “the Rolling Stones got here ahead of me.”
Jon Bon Jovi, who founded the band, Bon Jovi, in 1983, was part of an era of glam rock.
The music scene in Cuba has been heating up all year. The overwhelming response from Cuban youth offers a glimpse into what’s happening in real time as the music scene inserts itself into the narrative about Cuba’s new openness and provokes questions about what the future means for them.
It is no secret that Castro’s communist government desires connection with Cuba’s young people as the economy transitions from mostly government controlled to one that has much larger private sector participation – and openness.
Recently, Diplo and Major Lazer played a free show outside the US embassy. According to Rolling Stone, this was the first major concert by an American act since the US began easing tensions with Cuba in 2014. And in an interview with Diplo, Charlie Rose says the event was supposed to attract 30-40 thousand visitors. Instead, approximately 400,000 Cubans showed up. Rose also says the young crowd was, “bonded by the music that transcends boundaries.”
The Rolling Stones played at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva complex in March. A massive crowd, estimated to be 500,000, attended the free concert. Havana was the last stop on their America Latina Olé stadium tour, which began in Santiago, Chile on February 3. The concert occurred the week of US President Obama’s historic visit and was the first open-air rock concert by a Western band.