CBB is thrilled with the success of the 2014 Cuban Sommelier Summit, a professional development program which took place July 20-26, 2014. Designed to introduce, educate and connect Cuban sommeliers to experienced leaders in California's prestigious wine industry, the program covered all aspects of the industry ranging from grape selection to brand marketing. CBB partnered with the California Wine Institute, the Napa Valley Vintners, and the Sonoma County Vintners to host this program. CBB is extremely thankful for the support we received to make this experience possible.

CBB is thrilled to have been able to bring renowned Cuban artists to California in past years. We have been fortunate to host Luis Copperi, Kadir Lopez, and Alejandro Leyva in Sacramento, California during 2013, 2016, and 2017. These artists have donated their time to join us and graciously displayed their artwork at CBB fundraising events.

Carlos has become a close friend of Californians Building Bridges (CBB). Throughout the years he has provided many concerts for our delegates traveling to Cuba. He has also traveled to California to perform benefit concerts for CBB in 2013, 2015, and 2016. For the 2013 show, he performed at a CBB fundraiser at the home of long-time CBB supporter, Kevin Sloat. His set was part of a visual and performing arts show that included art exhibits by world-class Cuban artists, Kadir Lopez and Alejandro Leyva. During the summer of 2015, he performed at Weill Hall at Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, accompanied by pianist Aldo Lopez-Gavilan and bassist Julio Cesar Gonzalez. In 2016, Carlos Varela and his band performed at The Barn at Tyge William Cellars, Cornerstone Sonoma. This time his band included Aldo Lopez-Gavilan on the piano, Julio Cesar Gonzalez on the bass, David Suarez on drums and Roberto Luis Gomez on electric guitar. 


for the ongoing work of Californians Building Bridges and

the Father Usera Daycare Center in Havana, Cuba

​Carlos Varela began performing in Cuba in the 1980’s as part of the Nueva Trova Movement. He studied at the Theatre Institute of Art in Cuba and first toured outside of Cuba with Silvio Rodriguez and Pablo Milanes. In 1995 he traveled to Spain with Joaquin Sabina and recorded his album “As The Fish” which won the Spain WAVES Breakthrough Artist award. In 2004 he was invited to participate in a tour of England and several European countries with Jackson Browne. His music can be found in the soundtracks of numerous movies. He is considered one of the most popular musicians in Cuba and has an audience of fans around the world. Carlos was was featured on the 2015 HBO special, “Poet of Havana.”


​2013, 2016, & 2017

The 2016 concert helped CBB raise funds for the benefit of the Father Usera Day Care Center in Havana, as well as CBB's continued work in support of cultural, humanitarian and entrepreneurial exchange between the people of Cuba and California.

The day care center makes it possible for single parents to work while their children are nurtured in a safe and healthy environment. The daycare center attends each day to approximately 160 children aged 2-4 years old. It received international attention when Pope Francis visited during his historic trip to Cuba. CBB has a very close relationship with Sister Teresa Vaz, Director of the day care center.