At a Glance
Habana Revolution, Cuban quartet plays The FCC Phnom Penh on Friday Nov 6 and Saturday Nov 7. Shows start 8 p.m. No cover.
UPDATE: The Chow show has been moved to The FCC Phnom Penh.
Habana Revolution will showcase their hip-shaking Latin rhythms in Phnom Penh in November.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Cuban band will play The FCC Phnom Penh on Friday Nov 6 and Saturday Nov 7.
The poster for the event warns “No Tables! No Chairs! Prepare to Dance!”
“We play cover songs and originals composed by Vicente Lerro, the band leader,” says Lina Lopez Hernandez, the band’s dazzling, dark-eyed lead singer. “We perform Latin music — Salsa, Merengue. Chachacha, Reaggeton — and some pop too.”
In addition to singing, Hernandez is also an avid dancer, and Latin dance moves play an integral role in the band’s live shows.
“When we perform, we dance from our heart,” she says.
The fiery Latin group moved from Havana to Asia more than a decade ago, and they have wowed fans across the region ever since.
“We came as a band to Asia in 1998,” explains Hernandez. “We started at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok, and we performed for years at the Novotel Siam Square.”
Since then, the band has done long stints in Cambodia and Vietnam while criss-crossing Southeast Asia a dozen times or more before winding up in their current home in Malaysia.
The band spent six months in Phnom Penh during 2008, when they played out of the Q-Ba at the Cambodiana Hotel.
“We had a very good time working there,” Hernandez remembers. “We met a lot of people interested in Latin music.”
It was during that time that the band became enamored with Phnom Penh. And beyond the two shows in November, the group sees a future for themselves in the Kingdom.
“We expect to come back one day, to continue our duty teaching dance and performing,” Hernandez says. “Our dream is to open an authentic Latin bar and restaurant, which could be a venue for the community to enjoy dance, music, and food and drink from Latin America.”
Until then, fans will have to make due with the two November shows.