Buena Vista muso declines Grammy invite

2012-02-11 18:12

Havana - A top Cuban musician from the Buena Vista Social Club has declined to go to the United States to attend the upcoming Grammy Awards ceremony, website Cubasi reported.

In an interview with the website on Friday, Eliades Ochoa said he had received a US visa but would stay home instead.

"I prefer to play here in Cuba, in front of my people, rather than go to the Grammys," said Ochoa, 65. "I said it even before the visa came: I prefer to remain in Cuba and play for my people."

The guitarist and singer did not specify whether he himself had applied for the visa.

Ochoa's album Afrocubismo, which represents a mixture of traditional Cuban and African music, was nominated for a Grammy award.

"The nomination itself was an award for us," the musician said. "It was a recognition of Cuban traditional music, of our roots. And if we win a Grammy, so much the better."

Ochoa is currently on a concert tour promoting his new album, A Bolero for You, with performances scheduled in Havana and Varadero.

The Grammys ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday.