PHOTOS: Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington Visits Cuba

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (GMCW) recently became the first American gay chorus group to tour Cuba, breaking down barriers through music. Click through for some favorite photos from the trip.

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Rick Yarborough
The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (GMCW) recently became the first American gay chorus group to tour Cuba, breaking down barriers through music. Click through for some favorite photos from the trip. From Rick Yarborough: "Grabbing a taxi ride in one of those classic cars you see all around Cuba."
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Rick Yarborough
From Rick Yarborough: "The Tenor 1's from the chorus gather in front of a church in a square of Old Havana."
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Bob Dragoset
From singer Bob Dragoset: "Park with ficus trees (I had never seen ficus trees so large) and a bust of Mahatma Gandhi. It was very surprising to see kids and young adults playing tug-of-war and listening to pop music from a boom box."
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Bob Dragoset
From singer Bob Dragoset: "Park with a statue of John Lennon casually sitting on a bench (with Michael Aylward). It was very interesting to learn how the Beatles music started gaining popularity in Cuba, which the government tried to stifle, only to have it go underground and become even more popular."
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Bob Dragoset
From singer Bob Dragoset: "Modern sculpture in front of the National Museum of Cuban Art. It was also interesting to learn that there is apparently little censorship in the arts; if the people are unhappy, this can be freely expressed in paintings & sculpture."
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David Shotwell
From singer David Shotwell: "Public transportation in Havana, called coco taxis because they look like coconuts."
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David Shotwell
From singer David Shotwell: "New friends gather at the nightly Cannon Blast ceremony at an 18th century fortress overlooking Havana."
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David Shotwell
From singer David Shotwell: "Youth For Understanding’s Travel Director, Alex Lopez, and native Cuban, helped organize the trip for GMCW."
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Eric Belkengren
From singer Eric Belkengren: "One of the locals we got to meet at a concert."
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Eric Belkengren
From singer Eric Belkengren: "A view from the 18th century San Carlos de La Cabana fortress where we watched the nightly Cannon Blast ceremony."
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Jarrod Bennett
From singer Jarrod Bennett: Latin jazz musician Oscar Valdes performs at a nightclub attended by GMCW members.
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Jarrod Bennett
From singer Jarrod Bennett: "A popular drink in Cuba, the mojito."
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Jarrod Bennett
From singer Jarrod Bennett: "An impromptu performance by GMCW at the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana."
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Rick Yarborough
From Rick Yarborough: "A classic car parked in front of Old Havana apartment building."
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Rick Yarborough
From Rick Yarborough: "A street party, including stilt walkers, greets the chorus on the last night in Cuba."
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Kevin Morris
From singer Kevin Morris: "The sign reads 'country or death' at a gathering spot across from the US Interests Section."
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Kevin Morris
From singer Kevin Morris: "The US Interests Section (now Embassy) sits along the Malecón behind a steel fence. Directly in front are 138 flag poles, intentionally placed to block what the Cuban government believed to be propaganda on an electronic message ticker on the fifth floor of the US Interests Section."
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Kevin Morris
From singer Kevin Morris: "The 'living legends' perform at the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana."
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Kevin Morris
From singer Kevin Morris: "The buildings in Old Havana are undergoing a massive restoration project, restoring them to their former glory."
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Michael Aylward
From singer Michael Aylward: "Flute player/singer from a neighborhood street party."
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Michael Aylward
From singer Michael Aylward: "Young singer and speaker from the neighborhood street party."
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Michael Aylward
From singer Michael Aylward: "Santeria Dancers in Regla, a working class neighborhood of Havana."
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Patrick Nelson
From singer Patrick Nelson: "On departing the block party, I turned to see this view of the crowd with Cuba’s flag highlighted by the streetlight. It reminded me why we were there and why we sing."
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Patrick Nelson
From singer Patrick Nelson: "These two wonderful ladies epitomized my experience at the Convent gig. They were so excited we were there and so full of love. The welcomed us into their community, sang for us, and danced with us."
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Patrick Nelson
From singer Patrick Nelson: "A moment of fun in the craziness of the trip. A traditional dance of the Santería and our crew being entertained by the warrior Ogún. It was a vibrant and exciting peek into a different culture’s religious belief system."
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Rick Yarborough
From Rick Yarborough: "Locals who showed up to hear GMCW perform at the Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen. "
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Rick Yarborough
From Rick Yarborough: "Dancers at the famed Buena Vista Social Club."
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Chase A. Maggiano
From Chase Maggiano, executive director of GMCW: "GMCW performs after listening to the Mariana de Gonitch Chorus in Havana."
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Chase A. Maggiano
From Chase Maggiano, executive director of GMCW: "Dr. Thea Kano directs the chorus during one of their final performances in Cuba at Bertolt Brecht Theater."
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From Chase Maggiano, executive director of GMCW: "A joint concert with GMCW and Mano a Mano, Cuba's first openly gay chorus."
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Thea Kano
From Thea Kano, artistic director of GMCW: "I like how it captures a moment, and the juxtaposition of color against the dilapidated buildings."
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Thea Kano
From Thea Kano, artistic director of GMCW: "New Friend at Senior Center: She attached to me like we were long lost relatives. Even through the language barrier, her love shone!"
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Thea Kano
From Thea Kano, artistic director of GMCW: "Tiny Dancers: Young performers at the Casa de la Cultura (in Arroya Naranjo, a suburb of Havana) after their performance, watching their older peers perform."
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