In 2014, with the support of the Irish music community, Friends of Cuban Uilleann Pipers brought Alexander Suarez Mendez, to Ireland.
That trip proved hugely beneficial to Alexander and he has made wonderful progress with his playing of Irish Traditional music on the uilleann pipes. He now teaches other Cubans the pipes on a weekly basis in Havana and is working in a Luthiers workshop in Havana where he has access to equipment which will hopefully enable him to make uilleann pipes. Friends of Cuban Uilleann Pipers have been continuing to help this growing piping community in Cuba as best they can.
In February 2017 they were invited to assist with some concerts as part of the recent state visit by President Michael D Higgins to Cuba at which two Cuban uilleann pipers, Alexander and Rosalia Acosta Corrales from Pinar Del Rio, performed.
Now, they am trying to further assist both Alexander and Rosalia by bringing them to Ireland from June 28th to July 26th 2017, to attend Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and to attend workshops in piping and pipemaking. They have also been invited to perform in Áras an Uachtaráin during their visit.
To support the trip, Friends of Cuban Uilleann Pipers are raising funds with a concert on Thursday June 1 in the Grand Social venue in Dublin.
Performers include Hothouse Flowers front man Liam Ó Maonlaí and will include Noel Hill, Liam O’Connor, Seán McKeon, John Blake along with legendary Dublin singers Jimmy Kelly and Pat Goode and the newly formed Dublin Lasses.
Tickets can be purchased online at the following link https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/cuban-uilleann-pipers-fundraising-concert-tickets-33241881362?aff=es2
Further details of the visit including footage of Alexander, Rosalia and other Cuban uilleann pipers performing can be found on Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/mckeong/videos/1293715140663552/