Latin musicians compete for title

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Buena Vista Social Club's Felix Baloy (left) will be one of the judges at the “Clave Contra Clave” Latin music competition.

CANBERRA band Mi Tierra will perform this Saturday in Australia’s first national Latin music competition.

From October 8 until the Grand Finale on November 5, Australia’s Latin musicians will compete for the title of Australia’s Best Live Latin band and hear some stars of the Buena Vista Social Club play alongside local bands taking part.

The competition is called “Clave Contra Clave.” “Clave” means “code” in Spanish but also refers to the wooden sticks used by Afro-Cuban percussionists.  State heats begin in Melbourne tomorrow, October 8. Sydney’s heats follow on October 15 and Brisbane’s on October 22 with the Finale to run at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney on November 5.

The competition will be judged by a panel of Latin music experts, including former members of Buena Vista Social Club and Afro-Cuban All Stars Felix Baloy and Polo Tamayo, as well as Cuban singing legend Sixto ‘El Indio’ Llorente. The public will also be able to vote online for a “People’s Choice” winner to go through from a state heat to the Grand Finale. To vote visit

The winning band will win $10,000 and a contract for the 2012 Clave Contra Clave national tour, as well as a trip to Cuba. There are also prizes for runners-up both in the Grand Finale and the State heats, from a prize pool of $25,000 and an audience prize of a roundtrip airline ticket to Latin America.

Bookings to


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Helen Musa
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