WASHINGTON, D.C. – Havana’s legendary Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club will become the first Cuban group to play at the White House in half a century on Thursday, a U.S. official said.
The Grammy-winning band will play at a White House event to mark Hispanic Heritage Month, where President Barack Obama will also make remarks, a White House official told AFP.
It is the latest overture between the two Cold War foes, who have steadily sought to improve relations during Obama’s administration after years of animosity.
“The Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club is the first Cuba-based band to perform at the White House in over 50 years,” the official said.
The group became an international success following its 1997 album, with hits like “Chan Chan” and “Candela” defining Cuban music for a generation of listeners around the world.
The group — whose membership has shifted over the years as elders have stepped back or passed on — is currently on a global farewell tour.