Radio DXing in a musical play

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    I recently watched Portland Artists Repertory Theatre’s production of Cuba Libre, wherein a young musician named Alonzo DXes Florida FM stations during the mid 1990s and fuses the sounds that he hears with Cuban dance music.

    The fictionalized story line is based on the experiences of Jorge Gomez, keyboard player and bandleader of the group Tiempo Libre. As a young man, Gomez was amazed by the musical sounds that he would occasionally hear on foreign radio broadcasts. He shared his findings with a few friends, but he had to be discreet because DXing American radio stations was illegal. There was also no outlet in Cuba for Gomez to play the new music that he wanted to create.

    The play is fun and interesting. It presents the viewer with some thought provoking themes. However, I thought that there was one important question that was not answered–how did Alonzo and the other Cuban expatriates that he assembles into his band come to the US?

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