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Cultural diplomacy is one thing Cuba does very well, because with the United States, it’s the only kind of diplomacy available to them. Until Americans can again join the rest of the world in traveling freely to our neighbor in the Caribbean, we make do with the occasional exhibition ball game, ballet, or concert. But don’t let Buena Vista Social Club hog the spotlight: Cuba has its share of unimpeachable classical musicians, and many of its choral groups are among the finest in the Western Hemisphere. Alexandria-based Classical Movements, Inc., has brought one of Cuba’s top choirs, Schola Cantorum Coralina, to perform a diverse program of Afro-Cuban, South American, and traditional European choral works. Under the direction of Alina Orraca, the group has traveled around the world, interpreting everything from “Carmina Burana” to Bach with a touch of Caribbean energy. The ensemble has even performed for the Pope. Schola Cantorum Coralina’s U.S. tour kicks off in Annapolis and D.C. on Sunday. It may not be a step toward normalized relations, but it can’t hurt.
Schola Cantorum Coralina performs at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. $15-$20. (703) 683-6040.