Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cuban punk rockers tear it up at Churchill's

 "It's only rock n roll but it bothers you." - Porno para Ricardo

Porno para Ricardo tearing it up at Churchill's on Saturday night (March 5, 2015)
Cuba's best known punk rock band, Porno para Ricardo, played a blistering set at Churchill's last night in Miami's punk Mecca. They maybe a Havana based band but their anarchic spirit and punk rock attitude fit right in with this South Florida landmark which has hosted everyone from Marilyn Manson and Social Distortion to Dick Dale and Agent Orange.

Porno para Ricardo founded in Cuba has been a fixture there in the music scene since 1998. The lead singer Gorki Águila has paid the price for his critical lyrics being sentenced to four years in prison in 2003 on trumped up charges and got out in 2007. Only to face one year later the charge of "dangerousness" with the potential for another four year prison sentence, but the mobilization of punk rockers and human rights activists around the world and in Cuba succeeded in saving him from another prison sentence in 2008.

However short term arrests, threats and the occasional beating by the secret police still continue. For example in 2015, according to the Danish human rights NGO, Freemuse, Gorki was arrested on three occasions and in one of them beaten up by Castro's agents for demanding the freedom of Cuban artist Daniel Maldonado "El Sexto" who had been jailed for 10 months beginning in December of 2014 for trying carry out a performance art piece critical of the Cuban dictatorship. He was freed in October of 2015 and on March 2, 2016 kicked off an exhibition of his art work on South Beach with his performance art piece and Porno para Ricardo performing a set of their music. However, the concert in Churchills was special because for the first time the entire band (Gorki Águila, Ciro Díaz, Lia Villares, and Renay Kairus) was able to play together outside of Cuba.

If you missed this great performance you have one more chance today at 6pm in Little Havana at Cubaocho Museum and Peforming Arts Center where they will be playing. The band returns to Cuba later this week.

Porno para Ricardo plays Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center (1465 SW 8th Street, Miami FL 33135) today, Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 6:00pm

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