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Put your dancing shoes on!

Two men are sitting on stairs, smiling down at the camera; one man holds a guitar.

Adonis Puentes & the Voice of Cuba Orchestra are coming to town to play the Halifax Jazz Festival and Cuban Canadian musician, Adonis Puentes, wants you all to know something in advance of their concert on Friday, July 10...he wants everyone to dance!

Adonis was born and raised near Havana in Artemisa, Cuba- a safe and friendly environment where he had access to all kinds of programs including dance and karate. His father is Valentin Puentes, a well-respected musician and teacher. Adonis was interested in music early on and by the age of six, Adonis and his twin brother, Alex Cuba, were both playing in a children’s guitar ensemble. Music has definitely played an important role in Adonis’ life and career. In fact he immigrated to Canada to elevate his music career as there were more opportunities for collaboration and increased access to recording studies and technology.

I asked Adonis what was his first impression of Canada. He had trouble narrowing it down to one first impression as his first experience of Canadian culture was a nearly 3-month tour of the country from coast to coast in 1995. He travelled with his brother and father to play concerts and raise awareness about Cuban life at that time, landing in Halifax 70 days later. What really impressed him was the how Canadian musicians welcomed him and his family in cities and towns across the country, some of whom he is still in touch with today.

A photograph of a smiling man who is wearing sunglasses and pointing playfully at the camera.

Photo of Adonis Puentes by Tom Ehrlich

In 1998, Adonis decided to settle in Victoria, B.C. and for the last 17 years Canada has been his home. He continues to tour in Canada and internationally. When talking about his experience of immigration and integration in Canada, Adonis shared that he became most successful when he gave up the idea of living the exact same life he had in Cuba. He likes to keep busy, so when he arrived in Canada he didn’t give much thought to settling and integrating into Canadian society, he was too busy recording! He attributes his international success to being open to opportunities. He has realized that music has been the vehicle that has allowed him to bring a message of joy to people around the world. And when he arrives in town this July, I’m sure Halifax will provide a warm welcome...and dance.

To hear Adonis’ salsa influenced music visit: