NPR

From Cuba With Love: Yissy Garcia And Bandancha's 'Universo'

Yissy Garcia and Bandancha defies categorization, mixing jazz, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop and deep grooves standing at the bleeding edge of a new Cuban vanguard.
Yissy Garcia, part of a new creative vanguard emerging from Cuba. Source: Courtesy of the artist

Since diplomatic relations broke off between the United States and Cuba in 1961, musical exchange between both countries has been largely left, outside of tours, to the underground. Yissy García remembers her father, Bernardo García — a co-founder of Irakere, one of the most iconic bands in the history of Cuban music — sharing cassette tapes full of artists like Herbie Hancock after he would toured the U.S. These treasured souvenirs shaped her musical foundation — and the methods of sharing music haven't changed much since, either. Yissy & Bandancha's first, was only available for purchase in-person at her shows in the U.S., until about a month ago.

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