Caribbean Beat Magazine

Són city, Cuba | Destination

Near the eastern end of Cuba, Santiago is a regional capital, a treasure house of history — and, Donna Yawching writes, the island’s most musical city. The soundtrack is driven by the rhythms of són, she learns — and the soul of Santiago is in its musicians’ fervour for their heritage

Looking over the rooftops of Santiago de Cuba to the towers of the cathedral. Photo by Vadim Nefedoff/Shutterstock.com

Santiago — carnival city | Explore

Santiago, Cuba’s second-largest city, has long been a hotbed of culture — and it comes to a blaze each July, as Santiago’s unique annual Carnival, centred on the feast of St James the Apostle, takes over. Donna Yawching explains the historical roots of Santiago Carnival, and why it’s a time of year when no one expects to get much sleep

Heat and noise, colour and chaos: Santiago de Cuba’s July Carnival overwhelms all the senses. Photo by Torukojin/iStockphoto.com

André Alexis: the puzzle of “home” | Closeup

Born in Trinidad, brought up in Canada, writer André Alexis is a “Nowherian” — and that complicated identity, along with his passion for exploring big ideas, drives his philosophical and deeply literary novels. A recent string of awards has raised his international profile, but as Donna Yawching learns, it was no overnight success for one of the most original writers in both Caribbean and Canadian literature