Thursday, May 19, 2022
by: Donnielle Roman
CimaFunk – A beautiful collision of Afro Cuban, funk, soul, and jazz sprinkled with some hip hop and Afro Caribbean undertones.
The location, the ambiance, the crowd, the band, what an incredible performance!
CimaFunk, hailing from Havana, grew up singing in the church as many talented artists usually do. His intentional dream was to become a doctor. However, his passion for music found him in Havana after completing two years of medical school. In 2010 he formed the band CimaFunk; the name pays homage to the cimarróns, escaped enslaved people who formed self-sustaining communities in Cuba during the colonial era. Since the inception of CimaFunk, he and his band have released three albums, the latest El Alimento, for which he is currently on tour.
Presented by Ottawa’s Axé Worldfest, CimaFunk graced the Shenkman Center in Orleans for a previewing of songs from his new album and treated us to some of his classics. His esthetics takes you back to a 60’s jazz, rhythm, and blues vibe, from the bell bottoms, his box-cut hairstyle, bright, vibrant colours, the gyrations, the percussion, the bass, and acoustic guitars, to the dancers. It was evident early on that this would be a fantastic show. He had the crowd on their feet within minutes of gracing the stage. Time stopped for the next hour and a half, and nothing else mattered as you became immersed in the sheer talent.
The show was electrifying and engaging. All band members were in sync; one was just as talented as the next. It would be remiss of me not to give a special shout-out to the fantastic backup singers, a saxophonist, and a trombonist. Their skill on their instruments was intoxicating to watch, and you couldn’t help but follow their every move as they seemed to glide along the stage.
Already named one of the best albums of the year by The Rolling Stones, El Alimento, has continued to climb the charts since its release. CimaFunk continues their World tour this Summer; unfortunately, Ottawa is not on their list for the remainder of the year. However, you can check them out on any online music platform.
Gallery photos by Ming Wu and Donielle Roman
Donnielle Roman has over 10 years experience in management and over 15 years working with children and youth facing multiple barriers and adversity. As the Manager of Youth Services, she works with her team to provide safe and inclusive programming to newcomer youth in their settlement journey. Donnielle utilizes positive energy and a sense of humor to create and nurture holistic relationships with the youth she supports. She believes in a strengths-based approach, believing in a youth’s ability to drive and determine their own future. She has also volunteered as a Mentor and Coach. Outside her of professional life, Donnielle is an avid reader, writer, and seeker of peace and happiness.