There are a variety of group programs that can be custom built for orchestras, symphonies and choirs. These programs could be high school, university or professional level. Our contacts with the ministry of culture make these programs strong and unique. The programs including performing in Cuba, learning from Cuban maestros, practicing with Cubans and co-performances with Cubans. We also combine general cultural highlights of Cuba and several day excursions to fill out a complete program.
The music of Cuba is magical. Since the introduction of the bongo drum to Cuba in the 19th century, it has become the backbone of Cuban music. Music is a way of life. Music keeps Cubans joyous and with the music comes the dancing. The combination of various ethnic groups in Cuba and a natural beat leads to musical magic.
Musicians can be trained professionally as well as well as self taught. The universities offer free education for those with the affinity to learn and several people merely learn on their own or the streets for survival. Many eateries and bars in downtown Havana allow musicians to play their melodies and sell their CD’s to support their music skills. It is quite amazing how many of these artists are excellent! Usually they are trios or quartets with a singer, someone playing the bongos, a guitar player and sometimes a flutist. The bongo drum created in Cuba creates a sound that nicely blends the African rhythms with the Latin beat. It is the instrument that seems to hold down the fort of the music and gives Cuban its unique beat.
Some of the groups have a flutist playing which is very pleasant for Latin music; it adds a rhythmic lark that is definitely all Cuban in its feel and sound. Many of these little groups happily jam without any kind of sound system. The natural raw voice of the singer belts over the instruments and while you are downing a few mojitos or Crystals (Cuban beers) or a Bucanero (the darker beer) there is a certain unmistakable bliss that is truly Havana blue! Many people come back again and again to Havana, just to search out their favorite little band, as many of them wonder around and change locations.
Many of these artists are in as high demand in the music industry as baseball players are to the professional leagues around the world. The simple and modest attitude of many of these musicians makes them a joy to be a groupie to. There are some groups that are all male, or all female, a mix of young and very old as well as ethnic backgrounds. Music is a part of Cuba and if you don’t play an instrument or sing, you certainly dance to the fine tunes.
Dance is also very popular in Cuba. The Cuban National Ballet as well as salsa and Afro-Cuba dances are world famous and there are a variety of classes available from the beginner to the most advanced dance student that are available.