Blondie will release a new EP and concert film, Blondie: Vivir En La Habana, both centering around the band’s 2019 debut performance in Cuba. The film will premiere in June at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, and the EP will follow on July 16.
In 2019, Blondie were invited to perform in Havana as part of a four-day cultural exchange event through the Cuban Ministry of Culture. It was the group’s first time playing in the country, and, ahead of the trip, drummer Clem Burke noted they were eager to make the most of their time there.
“We’re hoping to try to sort of semi-integrate ourselves into the community and maybe do some performances and jamming prior to the official concerts for the local community,” he told Rolling Stone at the time. “I really don’t know what to expect other than there’s a common denominator when you’re playing music. If possible, maybe we’ll do a drum circle or some kind of musical communication, which is always a great field leveler.”
“Being from New York City, we were fortunate that it’s a melting pot of musical ideas, nationalities, ethnicities and cultures,” added singer Debbie Harry, noting that Latin and Caribbean music had always been a significant influence for the band. “It doesn’t seem so far-fetched that we would adopt some of those feelings into what we do.”
Listen to Blondie Play ‘Wipe Off My Sweat’ Live in Havana
The documentary’s director, Rob Roth, immediately knew it was a one of a kind moment. “When this opportunity came up I could not imagine not documenting it,” he said in a statement. “I knew it was going to be special somehow…we managed to pack in some really beautiful moments.”
“We had wonderful Cuban musicians join us for the performances – vocalists, percussionists, horn players … they added a terrific level of excitement to our songs, ” Harry said of the performances. “On ‘The Tide Is High’, Síntesis vocalists Ele Valdés and Maria del Carmen Avila sang with me and did the original harmonies that John Holt had put on the song; it was incredibly beautiful.”
You can view the film’s trailer and the EP’s track list below.
Blondie: Vivir En La Habana track listing:
1. “The Tide Is High”
2. “Long Time”
3. “Wipe Off My Sweat’”
4. “Heart Of Glass’”