UnBlock the Rock thanks all of you who have donated your time, talent and money to help bring Escape to the United States.
On April 18th, Justo Valdez, Alejandro Padron, and Yando Coy of Escape arrived at Newark Airport. That evening they reunited with Jennifer Hernandez, the original keyboard player of Escape, before walking to witness Times Square for the first time. Times Square is a mesmerizing first time experience for people who come from New Jersey to walk through the electric night. But for someone from Cuba, a country notorious for its power shortages, for someone from Cuba who has been playing in a heavy metal band with the impossible dream of performing in New York City, it’s simply life changing. Joined by Jezabel Sigler and Jorge Ofero on the 19th, Escape took the city by storm.
After a week of rehearsals, interviews, seeing old friends and meeting UBTR supporters, Escape stole the show at Tobacco Road, headlining Horns Up Rocks “Metal Revolution”. Halfway through their set, Escape played their classic, “Back to the Pain”, joined by Chris “Tomato” Harfenist of THOR who pummeled the drums, building a heavy metal bridge between the 2 countries. Alejandro moved out of the way, only to beat the life into the floor tom conveniently located next to Hernandez. Karina Rykman, (Sound of Urchin) and Josh Musto (ShitKill) rocked with Escape for the entire set, tearing the joint down, before Alex Skolnick of Testament joined in for Escape’s metal anthem, “Cuba Rebelión” fusing Cuban metal with his signature American shredding. For more information on their performance Saturday April 27th at Tobacco Road, and their equally brutal show at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn on Monday, April 29th, check out Linda Leseman’s review in The Village Voice in our NEWS section.
Check back or like us on FaceBook to check out the soon to be released mini-documentary we shot for Google Play as we followed Escape through NYC.
UnBlock the Rock (UBTR) is an independent movement to bring hard core Cuban band Escape from Havana for the first Cuban metal tour on US soil ever. Thanks to all of your support, we were able to bring Escape from Havana to Miami, from Miami to Austin to perform at SXSW on March 15th, 2013. UnBlockers continued their support, and now Escape has left their indelible mark NYC! UBTR would like to publicly thank Jeffrey Gerson and Michele Flannery for their support in this herculean effort!
Since 1959, the two countries, separated by less than 100 miles of open sea, remain politically and culturally isolated from each other, with no meaningful end in sight.
Heavy metal washed upon the shores of the island in the mid ‘80s, launching a heavy metal movement of frikis who insisted on their human right to rock. In Cuba, this is especially difficult. In Cuba, this is especially courageous. Access to instruments, practice space, electricity, social acceptance, and accessories, is a struggle. Escape, the band featured in “They Will be Heard”, a feature length documentary on Cuban heavy metal, shouts, growls, and screams what they feel, explosively, forcing people to listen.
By building a coalition of sponsors and supporters, UBTR proved that we can navigate the complicated legal and historic obstacles between Cubans and Americans.
UnBlock the Rock believes in the power of music to transcend political and cultural barriers. UnBlock the Rock believes in the power of people to create that music. We did it! It is our time!
Escape in NYC. It’s our time.