He told co-host of “CBS This Morning” Charlie Rose why he brought his music to Cuba.
“The most important thing we can do in America is bridge the cultural gap,” Diplo said. “Because that’s the one thing we have a lot of capital in is what we’re doing as creative people.”
As for the Rolling Stones, singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarist Ronnie Woods arrived in Havana Thursday evening – a place that once banned groups like theirs.
“That’s what happens when you ban things,” said Keith Richards.
Jagger said those days are long past and the country is starting to change, open up and embrace the outside world.
“Obviously something has happened in the last few years,” said Jagger. “So, time changes everything and so we are very pleased to be here and I’m sure it’s going to be a great show, tomorrow, I think it is, God is it really tomorrow? We better get ready!”
The band was greeted on the tarmac at Jose Marti Airport by UK Ambassador to Cuba Tim Cole and Cuban Cultural Ministry officials.
Nicholas Cull, a professor of public diplomacy at the University of Southern California (USC) says music breaks barriers.
“You have a moment that’s in some ways unexpected and spectacular that is about energy and emotion and shows how people are coming together and that’s the magic of these public events,” Cull explained.
In 1984, Wham! took its Freedom Tour to China, bringing pop music for the first time to the Middle Kingdom.
In 1979, Elton John pierced the Iron Curtain with concerts in Moscow.
And some say Billy Joel may have helped hasten the fall of communism when he toured the Soviet Union in 1987.
Cuba is the last stop on the Rolling Stones Latin American tour.
The communist country once banned music by the Beatles, only changing its tune in 2000, when Fidel Castro unveiled a statue of John Lennon. Now rock royalty is set to thrill fans in the heart of the communist island.
“We’ve played in a lot of incredible places,” Jagger said in an onlinevideo. “But this concert in Havana will be historic for us.”
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."