It was only yesterday that our family fled Cuba on a small boat seeking to start our lives anew in the Big Apple. Back in 1961 we were hoping our exile would be short-lived.
But fate took us on a totally different path and here I am in New York City, a magic, mysterious place that adopted me, educated me, shaped me, and provided me with a vehicle through which to channel my energy.
New York City has enriched me by exposing me to people, cultures, ideas, experiences that I could never have imagined as a child.
New York City has turned me into a citizen of the world.
It is here that I married a wonderful woman, raised two children, and now I'm spoiling my first granddaughter.
I am a New Yorker, a proud immigrant, grateful to this wonderful nation while never forgetting my roots. I am very Cuban -- hot-blooded, freedom-loving, and inspired by José Martí.
Over the course of a lifetime, I have made a humble contribution to the arts -- through my movies, plays, music, and books.
I am now in the processing of gathering some of my work here on this site, which I'm hoping to continue updating as time permits.
I still have plenty of things to say. I'll say many of them right here.
Please come back.
Iván's musical biography takes you back decades on a journey that started in Santiago de Cuba
A powerful bomb goes off
"One night, while listening to Cuba’s most popular radio comedy, La Tremenda Corte with Pototo and Filomeno, the program suddenly went off the air. The revolutionaries had placed a bomb that, upon exploding, collapsed the enormous transmitter at the entrance of the city."
My pet chicken 'Lala'
"In the patio of my house there was a cage where I raised American chickens. There my hen Lala had grown up. As due to the strike there was not much to eat, at home it was decided to make an arroz con pollowith my Lala. Of course, I didn’t try even a mouthful."
"For several days, Santiago de Cuba was disconnected from the rest of the island. They declared a general strike that paralyzed the city. So, to entertain us, my papá put on the records of the troubadour Guillermo Portabales, 78 rpm records that were half scratched. Portabales was the creator of the guajira de salón..."