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" I think the Apollo has always been the people's performing arts center and reflected the community, whether it is Stevie Wonder or Tito Puente. "
" Too many spend too much time trying to live in a fixed point, when our lives are an unfolding journey. Taking on new challenges is how we fix the world. "
" I grew up in an environment with virtually no Hispanics where you see only people in your culture in custodial jobs. I had a messed up image of what we bring to this nation. My father was known as a pioneering figure in Cuban music, but I still associated him with everything that was negative in my neighborhood. I could not have been more mistaken. "
" A lot of groups spend their whole cultural and aesthetic identity trying to move away from Africa, which I think is a mistake. One of the reasons I love Cuba and cultures like that is because they're not trying to move away from their African roots, they're trying to embrace them. That's part of the culture. "
" I made one rule for myself, and I really try to live it: Play music you love, with people you love, for people you love. If I can't be that kind of musician, I'll drive a cab. "
" I always leaned toward free jazz... experimental jazz and progressive jazz. I feel like jazz is just part of the flavor and palette that you have as a musician to experiment with. "
" Culture is a fluid, ongoing process. People tend to look at culture in a fixed time but it's constantly moving and evolving, as is the conversation between Americans and Cubans. "
" Creating music based on art and giving away from your spirit is more important than making a living. "
" Jazz and Cuba are inexorably tied together; it's not a branch from a tree. Latin music is part of the root of jazz. "
" For me, learning music and playing music and learning your instrument has incredible parallels for our day-to-day existence as human beings. All the ideas of discipline, and having a sense of yourself and translating that to music, that's all part of life's journey. "
" I've always thought of music as profound spirituality because you can use that music and that spirituality for personal gain or for the good of the world, the good of humanity, and for the good of your people. "
" I won't give up swimming, even if it kills me. I love the rhythm of it. "
" You're going to tell me that things aren't right in Cuba, and so we shouldn't engage. It's lunacy. Look outside your door and see the inhumanity of Americans... that we perpetrate on a daily basis in our lives... and then tell me that you're going to isolate Cuba as an example. I'm sorry; that's unacceptable. "
" I think when a musician loses their inhibition and dives deep into their soul, that's a prayer. It's so powerful that you will touch people whether it's good or bad. "