Five Boroughs Music Festival Present Ars Longa de la Habana

By Francisco Salazar

New York City’s Five Boroughs Music Festival and the MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas Concert Series are set to co-present Cuban early music ensemble Ars Longa de la Habana in their 5BMF debut.

The performance will be free to the public and will be held on March 15 at the St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church. The concert will highlight African influences on the baroque music of the New World including villancicos negros, musical works that were performed primarily around Christmastime, drawing from their 2013 album Gulumbá Gulumbé: Resonancias de África en el Nuevo Mundo.

Ars Longa is known for hosting the annual international Esteban Salas Early Music Festival in Havana. Phrases, themes, and rhythms from African folk culture blended with the Spanish and Portuguese languages and Christian liturgy to create new dialects and music.

Ars Longa’s program draws together these resonances of African cultures, representing their rhythms, ingenuity, and vitality.