Peter Buck, Montell Jordan, Bonnie Raitt, Others Meet Castro On Cuban Visit

Cuban president Fidel Castro personally met and chatted with over 40 American artists, including R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, actor Woody Harrelson, Montell Jordan, Duncan Sheik and Bonnie Raitt, at a reception Sunday night in Havana.

The rare meet-and-greet followed a sold-out concert at Havana’s Karl Marx Theatre that marked the end of a week-long musical exchange between Cuban and U.S. musicians, which randomly paired American songwriting teams (like the curious duo of Burt Bacharach and Lisa Loeb) with Cuban musicians like guitarist Ray Gerra and singer Miriam Ramos.

According to event organizer Alan Ray Scott of Musical Bridges, the cloud of the Kosovo crisis didn’t affect the experience and Sunday’s concert ended with a massive conga line of over 60 musicians, led by Cuban salsa star Jose Luis Cortes. Most of the musicians also attended Sunday afternoon’s historic baseball game, with the Baltimore Orioles beating the Cuban National team 3 to 2.