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The main road along Havana’s seafront, the Malecon, was sealed off on Sunday as thousands of Cubans flocked to a free open air concert by the veteran American funk disco band Kool & the Gang.

They were the first US musicians to receive permission to perform on this communist-run island since President Barack Obama came to power.

“We are not politicians, we are musicians,” maintained founder and band leader Robert ‘Kool’ Bell.

“We come to bring good music and it’s great that we are here. Hopefully we won’t have these political questions and problems in the future.”

It was a free concert; the band did not earning anything by performing here.

“This is an honourable event for us. We know it’s historical and we hope the whole world really gets to know more about Cuba by us being here,” said another of the original band members, saxophone player Dennis Thomas.

A rapturous welcome awaited them as they stepped out on to the stage in the Anti-Imperialist Plaza.

It sits in front of the US Interest Section, the closet thing America has to an embassy here.

Formed in 1964, Kool & the Gang finally made the big time with their 1980 number one hit Celebration, along with songs like Ladies’ Night and Get Down on It.

Dance moves

They later found a fresh lease of life after their music featured on Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 movie Pulp Fiction.

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Article courtesy of: BBC

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