A Los Angeles children's choir is seeking to help ease old Cold War tensions between Cuba and the United States with an 11-day tour of the island nation.
Under the direction of acclaimed Steven Kronauer, the Young Men's Ensemble (YME) will be teaming up with local Cuban choir Cantoria Coralillo for a choir workshop before they take to the stage for a series of concerts.
German-trained Kronauer talked about the chances offered by the joint performances.
"I think music is something that bonds everyone, and the glory of the opportunity to share with music with other choirs from Cuba, and to share through the hearts and soul of music, and learning about the Cuban music for us, and perhaps (for them) learning about the American music we've brought as well, it's a wonderful opportunity to be together," he said.
This trip marks the first time the chorus group has toured a Caribbean country in its nearly 30-year history. The landmark concert will take place at Havana's historic Casa de las Americas.
As Cuba and the United States continue their path towards the normalisation of ties begun on 17 December of last year, choir member Henry Brooks said the timing of the performances could not be better.
"I absolutely think our visit to Cuba is very representative of what's happening right now in terms of politics between the United States and Cuba. We've had 50 some years of separation and I think that's coming to a close. And one of the ways that we're closing it is through music, and so I am excited to be part of that beginning of this new brotherhood," said Brooks.
The Young Men's Ensemble will perform their string of concerts in Cuba until 21 June.