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A guitar player and accomplished composer, Luis Barbiera is a member of the collective Habana Abierta. Barbería left Cuba in 1996 for Spain, where he lived for nearly two decades. In 2014 he returned to live in Cuba, joining a growing number of former emigré musicians who have returned—as musical professionals—to Cuba.
In May, 2015, Luis Barbería’s album, A full, was awarded Best Album in the fusion category in Cuba’s annual music awards, Cubadisco. Barbería’s win was an unprecedented embrace of a prodigal son, but it comes after a gradual engagement with diasporic artists by the Cuban musical establishment.
His visit, sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute and the Latin American and Latino Cultural Ambassadors Initiative, is part of Cuba and the US South: A Shared History, an international symposium exploring the ties between Cuba and the Southern United States stretching back to the antebellum era. The symposium, co-sponsored by the Willson Center and the Dean Rusk International Law Center, will also include a panel discussion exploring Georgia’s historic ties to Cuba and a talk by Emory University’s Mark Sanders for the Willson Center’s 2015 Global Georgia Initiative.