Solidarity Rock

Solidarity Rock is an artist run organization working to partner musicians, artists and creative people in Cuba, Canada and eyond. Since 2008, we have been working to collect instruments and musical equipment to help our friends in Cuban rock bands find their own way through music.
Recent Tweets @@SolidarityRock

by Sam Witchez

Last weekend, May 04, 2013, Gatillo (Sancti Spíritus), Arrabio (Trinidad) and Adictox (Santa Clara) performed an amazing show at “La Casa de la Música” in Sancti Spíritus, Cuba. At the same time in Canada an Art Show with Cuban art pieces, panel discussion and live music were happening.

Once again those bands gave to the crowd an intense show. Three hours of fun, music and friendship made everybody recall the shows SR had been bringing to our cities during 5 years now.

To Arrabio, specially, our bests wishes for the upcoming events. Happily they will be performing one more show next Saturday at the same venue with Resistenzia (Santa Clara), Krisis (Santa Clara) and Limalla (Sancti Spíritus), just a few days before flying to New York for the Black and Blue Bowl festival.


[click for more images]

admission by donation

Edmonton! Tomorrow night, we’re going to be bringing out best down to Barber Ha, on Whyte Ave. Specifically, we’re bringing you an art show, featuring a collection of large format paintings from Cuba, a panel discussion featuring Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver musicians and artists who have been involved in the Solidarity Rock project, a couple of first view videos, photo projections and a lot of good times. We’ll be joined by our friends Ol Salty and Christian Stahl playin great music all night. Also, Steam Whistle is coming out to make sure you get your fix of craft brewed Pilsner.

As you probably know, over the past five years, we’ve been working diligently to build and maintain a punk rock infrastructure in Cuba, done 6 tours of that lovely country, brought our own collaborative visual art documentation in the form of a 50 piece photography exhibit (funded by the Edmonton Arts Council, thanks!) which is continually being shown across Cuba, Western Canada and the US, brought Arrabio to Canada, and are now heading to New York City to see what else is out there.

So, come down to Barber Ha, check out some art and hear some good stories from the people around you, who are doing what they can to push art, culture and creativity to new heights. It’ll be a great night. Hope to see you there.

Black n Blue Productions

They announced the line up for this year’s Black n Blue Bowl in NY last night. Arrabio has been invited to play the show and we will be announcing a bunch of details as they come in!

Posted on

Put the rumors and gossiping to rest, the BNB Takeover proudly announced the complete line-up for this years annual Black N Blue Bowl which will feature a highly anticipated reunion from JUDGE. A complete listing of announced bands and details are as follows;


(w/ a special guest TBA)
Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Webster Hall
125 E 11th Street
New York, NY 10003

by Sam

Probably by this time everybody should know Arrabio, but..

On the image, from right to left

Douglas Bravo (Lead guitar and back vocals)

Daimel Cuervo (Bass and vocals)

Leo (Drums)

William Garcia (Guitars)

[click on the image to see the whole set for this post]

by Sam

23 days are such a short time when you are with your friends and everyone is trying to please you.

During our stance in Canada we had some free time to go and see places that we just had a pretty far idea how awesome should them be, once again our friends took care of everything and we had the best adventures ever….

And of course even during shows we were living an endless party…

[click on the image to see the whole set of images for this blog]

by Sam

At the beginning was just the possibility of going to an Agnostic Front show while we were in Canada, but then it turned to be the opportunity for Arrabio to be at the stage and do two short performances before the AF 30 anniversary bands on poster start the show, but then Roger Miret became a friend… so they end up singing all along at the stage, sharing gear and even, the last night we were in Canada, Arrabio performed an unexpected 5 songs show as a special and personal guest of Roger himself (He even hosted them, and they used AF gear…)..

[click on the image to see the whole set for this post]

Besides the musical shows during the Canadian Tour Arrabio and Solidarity Rock crew got involved in some other cultural activities.

A panel discussion at the UWinnipeg Oral History Centre, a promotional two songs broadcasting + William words at the CJSR (Radio Station for the Edmonton University), photo sessions, interviews, a photo show…

Each one of this event were possible due to the hard work and support of our friends…

[click on the image to see the whole set for this post]

by Sam

Solidarity Rock is brotherhood, cultural exchange and a lot of more deeper issues that I can even understand, but, of course music is one of the lubricants that makes communication go smooth.

During the 23 days Arrabio traveled Canada they performed 10 amazing shows, and was as part of the audience in one. They shared the stage with bands that surprised us over and over again. Bands that sometime we had been with before, and some other that we just had listen at in a record or watch on a DIY video clip, but been there and see, in firsthand, how they interact with the crowd, how they get feedback from audience, how the whole thing is conceived for sure had been a great experience for Arrabio members as musicians.

For me, a person non capable to play even a single tune in a guitar, be on shows had been always more a question of feeling the music. As a photographer is kind of situation where you should be concerned about changing lights, moving subjects and the risk of been hit by the exalted crowd, so is a  kind of amazing adventure that sometimes don’t let you pay the right attention to the melody but for sure implies the challenge of capture the euphoria of the moment in a shot.

[click on the image to see the whole set of images for this post]

By Sam

No tour neither cubans in Canada would be possible without Solidarity Rock friends crew.

I will not mention names, but everyone of them that was around (even not in the flesh) during our travel and its planning know their heart that they are in our thoughts.

Friends that conceived the idea.

Friends that helped us with the planning till the last minute

Friends that sponsored us.

Friends that welcomed us.

Friends that make all the way from distant locations just to spent time with us.

Friends that feed us and gave us a place to sleep.

Friends that took us to amazing places and guaranteed our safe stance there.

Friends that share their personal stuff and gear with us.

Friends that took care of us when homesick stroke.

Friends that encourage us.

Friends that brought friends to the venues, people who eventually became our friends too.

Friends that allow us took us to the places that are important for their life.

Friends that couldn’t be there.


As I wrote before, I will not mention names but no one is missing in my heart.

[Click on the image to see the whole set for this post]

First delivery

By Sam

After months of planning, weeks of rush and days of stress on October 3rd, 2012, for the first time in history, a Cuban rock band flew outside the country to get involved in the adventure of touring in a foreign land.

For 23 days Arrabio,  a Cuban translator and myself traveled Canada getting in touch the state of art of international punk movement , having parties,  meeting old friends, knowing new ones, visiting the most amazing landscapes we ever have read about or saw on TV and, of course, the band performed 10 amazing shows with Canadian and Americans Bands, members were interviewed and participated in oral panel about DIY punk in Cuba….

For the musicians the tour was the opportunity for prove themselves as artists taking their music to a public very different from the one they are used to in Cuba, also the chance to fulfill one of the dreams of a generation, been on stage with Agnostic Front.

For me was the unique experience of seeing life with a new perspective thru my cam lens.

I’ll be uploading posts with sets of photos trying to give an idea thru images and few words of how the tour was for all of us.

[click on the image to see the full set for this post]

Tour Cuban Crew:

Daimel Cuervo (Bass and vocals in Arrabio)

Douglas Bravo (Guitar and back vocals in Arrabio)

William Garcia (Guitar in Arrabio)

Leodan Rodriguez (Drums in Arrabio)

Fernando Perera (Translator)

Samuel Reina (Photographer)