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Saturday, Oct. 26: La Familia Valera Miranda

Kilworth Memorial Chapel

Felix Valera Miranda, a tres and percussion player who now runs the Department of Traditional Music in Santiago, the capital of Oriente, is the lead singer of La Familia Valera Miranda.

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Does it ever throw you - really throw you - to think that Fidel Castro is still alive. It does us. I had childhood friends - Ortelio and Flora Cardenas - who fled with their families and settled in our town back in the early 1970s. If we had been a betting people back then in the World Leader Mortality Fantasy League, we'd have lost our shirt. Think of all the world figures who've left this mortal coil since then! And, yet, Castro remains, chompin' that cigar, sometimes stumbling, perverting socialism - and every now and then throwing shoes a bunch of undesirables in the bay. We digress. La Familia Valera Miranda, six musicians from the Oriente region of Cuba, will perform Saturday night in Kilworth Memorial Chapel. Oriente, near Haiti and Jamaica, is a region where the dominant musical form, son cubano, differs from that of the capital Havana. Son cubano is a style of music that originated in Cuba, and gained worldwide popularity by the 1930s because it combined Spanish guitar elements with African rhythms and certain percussion instruments. Among its many derivatives is salsa. Keep your shoes on and dance in the aisles.

LA FAMILIA VALERA MIRANDA, 7:30 p.m., Kilworth Memorial Chapel, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. warner, Tacoma, $12, 253.879.6013

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