Tropicana is one of the Cuban names well known internationally.
For more than 60 years, generations of Habaneros, Cubans from all provinces and foreign visitors have attended performances at the most luxurious night center of Cuba, the famous Cabaret Tropicana " under the stars", located in 41 and 72 Street in Marianao.
The place where Tropicana is located at present was in the past a recreation farm, bought by a businessman whose name is Victor de Correa with the purpose of building a cabaret in 1936. People know very little or nothing about the origin of this name which was taken from a music piece called Tropicana and since then to date is used to start the super productions that have been performed there. Correa chose a written theme from the composer and director Alfredo Brito, who merged two words "Tropico" and "Cana" (a variety of palm trees abundant in Cuba). The fame and history of this cabaret has traveled the world. It's a recreation place chosen by men and women of all ages and countries for leisure and entertainment. The forties marked the beginning of the big shows presentation period in Tropicana, perhaps the first of which was called ''Congo Pantera" with the participation of Bola de Nieve, Rita Montaner and Chano Pozo. The direction was by choreographer David Lichine and there were dancers from the Russian Ballet of Basil visiting the country at the time, and it also included "colored" extras to put an exotic touch demanded by international tourism. Afro-Cuban music was predominant with an imprint of Cuban-like personality and quality, since then that has been the seal of the cabaret.
The name of Roderico Neyra is indissoluble linked to the prestige and projection of Tropicana, better known by the nick name of Rodney. At the beginning he worked as an extra and assistant to Lichine but in 1945 he organized the famous performance called "Las mulatas de fuego". From there on Rodney produced the great shows such as "Sun sun babae" and others making Tropicana internationally famous.
The history of this center is part of the history of the Cuban popular music. For many years the Tropicana Orchestra was the best jazz band of the country, since 1942 it was directed by Armando Romeu for almost 25 years uninterruptedly. Musicians like Chico O'Farril, who also made musical arrangements, Godinez Piyu, Generoso Jimenez, Amadito Valdes, Peruchin, Bebo Valdes and Guillermo Barreto were part of that orchestra at different periods. This orchestra gathered many of the best Cuban musicians of the time that were part of the great boom and splendor of the famous cabaret. Practically all the best singers of the island have been involved in the different shows of Tropicana as well as many of the best musicians and orchestras of Cuban popular music. Going from the Rumba to the farmers representations all of the music expressions have been included in the voices and instruments of the best interpreters with choreographies and the participation of outstanding dancers.
In the great stage of Tropicana great international music artist such as Nat King Cole, Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker, Liberace and Los Chavales de España have shared their work with Cuban artists.
But Tropicana is not only history; it's also a current affair. It continues to have room for good music and entertainment. Today that jewel of Havana nights maintains its validity to the full for the satisfaction of all those who visit the site.
Aside from the famous cabaret Tropicana in the capital of Cuba, one can also enjoy its wonders in the Province of Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba. Those are the most important ball rooms of the country regarded as tropical versions of the Paris Folies/Bergere in which luxurious performances are offered of Caribbean music and dance as well as the entertainment one can think of when arriving at "Paradise under the stars".