Washington (CNN)For the first time in a half century, a musical act based in Cuba will play at the White House this week, a further sign of the thawing relations between the two former Cold War adversaries.
First on CNN: White House to host legendary Cuban musical act
The Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club will perform at a White House reception in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month on Thursday.
Formerly known as the Buena Vista Social Club, the now legendary Cuban band is in the middle of its farewell tour. The act exploded onto the U.S. music scene in the late 1990s, introducing American listeners to a traditional Cuban "big band" sound that had not been heard in decades.
A documentary based on the group's elderly Cuban musicians who reunited to perform again for American audiences was nominated for an Academy Award in 1999.
President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at Thursday's reception, which will also mark the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, a White House official said.
The Cuban ambassador to the U.S. has also been invited to attend the event, the official added.