One of Havana’s most famous music events, the Jazz Festival is a display of the link between Cuban rhythm and jazz, which goes back to the late 19th century when newly freed slaves immigrated to New Orleans. First started in 1979 as a local event, at the Casa de la Cultura de Plaza, this edition of the festival that has grown in size and scope with venues that include several large theatres and nightclubs.
The festival has featured Cuban jazz greats, soloists of the art-form and International musicians such as the Preservation Jazz Band and Chico/Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra have joined some of Cuba’s most famous artists – Chucho Valdés, Bobby Carcassas, Vivian Perez, Roberto Fonseca and the Lopez-Nussa family- in previous festivals. From the younger generation of Cuban jazz masters, many have already been recognized nationally and internationally come together such as Alejandro Falcon, Rolando Luna, Yasek Manzano, Michel Herrera.
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Havana, in its faded glamour, was once known as the “Paris of the Caribbean”, is now a shadow of its former prestige. A world where time is held captive – poised between the past and the future in a place where anything is possible.
Our program allows access to the culture and people of Cuba today. Meet and interact with artists, tobacco farmers, musicians, and intellectuals. This program will give you unusual access to the goals and politics involved in life in Havana and the province of Pinar del Río.
The Cuban people are proud of their intertwined European and Afro-Cuban cultures exhibited in food, music, and religion; all meld into an infectious blend, as the Cuban’s say, a “ajiaco”; the traditional stew where everyone contributes and it is always being reinvented. We have operated exchange groups in Cuba for 20 years and we are pleased to offer this program to our travelers with many of our old friends.
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