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In 2002, the Cuban television program Cuerda Viva, or Live Chord, was conceived to promote alternative music across the island of Cuba. The presenter was supposed to be Mario Masvidal, who decided to get involved in the project but thought it would be best if someone younger presented the show. The original idea for the show came from Ana Rabasa and Caridad Rojas, and at the time of its conception it was an interesting and daring project.

Live Chord’s purpose is to present music performed by young musicians for a young audience, mainly rock, fusion and pop, music that rarely seen or heard on Cuban television and radio. Since its inception Live Chord has been dynamic, with constant changes in the rankings of the show’s participants. The musical skills of the participants are of the highest level, and the show’s judges maintain the requirement that the music presented reflect the style of music that the show promotes, and not necessarily what is popular in Cuba. The show is a platform for new musical acts to reach Cubans across the island, with musical styles that are not usually presented by Cuban television.

Live Chord currently has a presence on social media sites, and both its gala events and shows are broadcast digitally throughout Cuba. This year marked the sixteenth anniversary of the show, and scheduled events included the Gran Trovada in Old Havana’s Plaza Vieja, the gala event of this year’s nominees in the Tropicana, and the awards ceremony which was held at Cuba’s National Theatre. All of this in the name of promoting young musicians who play innovative music!

By Clao York

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