‘Where are the friends I had yesterday?”
The line from the song “Cuánto gané, cuánto perdí” by Cuban balladeer Pablo Milanés might be considered the theme for his current U.S. tour, his first since 1997. In his controversial performance in Miami on Aug. 27, Milanés dedicated the song to all Cubans living outside the island nation.
No matter what percentage of Cubans make up in the audience of his New York performance on Friday at United Palace in Washington Heights, Milanés will surely find in the city many friends from all periods of his long career. New York is the fourth stop in a seven-city U.S. tour which began in Washington and ends in San Juan, P.R., Sept. 17.
At 68, the nueva trova icon is still, with Silvio Rodríguez, the musician most closely identified with the new society promised by the Cuban Revolution. But while Milanés has said publicly that he is still committed to a Revolutionary Cuba, he has also been openly critical of oppressive measures taken against dissidents by Fidel and Raúl Castro’s governments.