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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

The IRS gifted CAYO with official 501(c)(3) status just in time for 2017. We are thrilled to be able to launch fundraising for the inaugural season of the Cuban American Youth Orchestra in 2018. Here’s a picture of the celebration desayuno at Francisco’s Cuban Cafe in Rochester, MN.

Thanks to a gift from a major St.Paul-based arts philanthropist and lead backer of the Ordway Concert Hall campaign, CAYO is on its way to a $500,000 goal in 2018. We welcome your support and wish you a Happy New Year!



There is only one place to go in order to start to understand the inextricable link between the United States and Cuba: Miami. Standing at the water’s edge, looking south, it’s incredible to recall the feeling of standing on the Malecón a year prior, looking at the same expanse of water. 90-odd miles and a world away.

Marlins’ star pitcher and Cuban-American darling Jose Fernandez met his tragic end only a few days before I landed, and his name, number, and life loomed large in local media this week.

I visited Marlins Park to see the memorial that had sprung up in the last few days, and read some of the thousands of hand-written notes to #16:

  • “Jose I love you like one of my children”
  • “Jose our family, and all the Cuban family, loves you”
  • “You were the pride of our community”
  • “Tu eres nuestra historia Cubana”/”You are our Cuban story”

Jose was living proof of the power of dreams combined with a relentless perseverance, the ideals we wish to impart to the future young musicians of CAYO.

Descansa en paz.

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