The festival began this year on July 18 with a kick-off reception for Harlem Week at Gracie Mansion. Chino Pons y Grupo Irek, an internationally renowned Cuban musician based in New York, provided music for the event. On Aug. 4, the festival shifted into high gear at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine with Oyu Oro, an Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble from Santiago, Cuba. Under the direction of its founder, Danys (La Mora) Perez, the group specializes in preserving and perpetuating the nation’s Afro-Cuban folklore, especially the music and dances derived from West African cultures. The ensemble’s dance workshop, which will take place along with the Dance Theater of Harlem, will be soon be announced.