Blondie hosting four-day ‘cultural exchange’ concerts in Cuba

Blondie will perform two concerts in Cuba during “Blondie in Havana,” a four-day gathering set for next March 14-18.
(Danielle St. Lauren / Courtesy)

“Heart of Glass” is going to Havana.

New wave rockers Blondie are planning two major concerts and a “cultural exchange” during “Blondie in Havana,” a four-day gathering slated for March 14-18 in Cuba’s capital city.

Tickets for the glitzy Cuba event, which will go on sale 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28, are steep, costing $2,699 to $5,199 for three nights and $2,999 to $5,600 for four nights at Havana’s historic Teatro Mella venue.

The band, fronted by Miami-born singer Debbie Harry, will perform two shows in Havana, accompanied by Cuban acts such as Alain Perez, David Torrens and Afro-Cuban progressive-rock band Sintesis. Passes also include “five-star accommodations” at the Meliá Havana Hotel, along with daily meals, museum, architecture tours and one meet and greet with members of Blondie.


“Blondie has always had a love for music from that part of the world,” Blondie drummer Clem Burke says in a press statement. “All the way back to ‘Rapture’ and ‘The Tide Is High,’ we’ve always experimented with Caribbean sounds and polyrhythm. So as soon as going to Cuba became a possibility, we started putting something together. I think there will be a really special energy.”

The Cuba-bound Blondie timed the announcement less than a month after the U.S. State Department softened restrictions on U.S.-Cuba travel, recommending that visitors use “increased caution” on the island nation. (A series of sonic-weapon attacks have triggered mysterious illnesses among U.S. Embassy workers, the Associated Press reported last year.)

This isn’t the first time an international rock band has performed on the island since the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations. Blondie’s show won’t be quite as cheap as the free, career-spanning concert the Rolling Stones played in March 2016 in Havana, brandishing a 50-year catalog of songs once scorned by Cuba’s revolutionary leaders.

Blondie released its 11th album, “Pollinator,” in 2017. The band will reissue its 1979 pop-dance single “Heart of Glass” in a six-track EP titled “Blondie: Heart of Glass,” on Oct. 26.


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