Cuba music holidays
Description of Cuba music holidays
Celebrate the sounds and rhythm of Cuba on this one week intensive music holiday in Santiago de Cuba, the home of traditional Cuban music. Take daily classes with top professional musicians and singers, with the chance to have private lessons, too. Enjoy nights out to hear world class live bands in local venues and clubs, go on interesting visits and excursions and still have plenty of time to relax and recharge your batteries. All in all, this is unique and unforgettable music holiday, full of culture and with a relaxed and tropical Caribbean atmosphere!
Santiago de Cuba is the ideal place to hear and be immersed in live music. The city has a wide range of live music venues offering different entertainment every night of the week, from the world famous Casa de la Trova in the city centre to small local clubs in outlying neighbourhoods. The holiday is scheduled to coincide with the annual Festival de la Trova Pepe Sanchez, a celebration of Cuban music and song, which gives plenty of opportunity to hear well known Cuban musicians in small intimate venues.
On each of your seven days here, you’ll enjoy a music lesson in a small group. A lead tutor is assigned to each group, who guides and encourages you to learn, so you get the most from this trip. If you are a professional musician, come and develop your knowledge of Cuban music or even learn to play with some of Santiago de Cuba’s greatest musicians. If you are a complete beginner and fancy trying your hand at Cuban percussion, this is the perfect holiday for you. Over the week, group lessons and rehearsals will lead up to an informal concert in one of Santiago’s popular live music venues at the end of the week.
You will spend seven nights in a local homestay, carefully selected to offer great home cooked meals and a friendly welcome. This is a great way to gain a real insight into Cuban life, and will become a home away from home while you are here, providing all the independence you need.
This holiday is scheduled twice a year, in March and in May but if these dates do not suit your travel plans, we can organise a similar music holiday for you on a private tour basis at any time of year. The price includes homestay accommodation in single room for seven nights, with breakfast and dinner included; all music tuition with professional Cuban tutors; accompanied nights out to live music events (entries not included); cultural visits included in the programme; bilingual tour leader and local guide(s). It does not include flights, transfers and Cuban Tourist Card. This is an over 50s friendly trip.
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1 Reviews of Cuba music holidays
Reviewed on 04 Apr 2018 by Bob and Patty Tatum
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Participating in the Cuba Music Holiday through the tour operator we used was the trip of a lifetime! Learning from, working with, and performing public shows
with a top-rated band in a foreign country is a dream come true for us. We fell in love with Cuba, its people, and its music, and we look forward to returning
someday. We'd also like to do another music holiday with this same company.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Study Spanish before leaving home. Practice the music the operator sends you from the band before leaving home.Listen to as much traditional Cuban (Son) music you can from sources such as Buena Vista Social Club. Take some nice music supplies for your new bandmates and other musicians you will meet (nylon guitar strings, trumpet valve oil/slide grease, picks, percussion gear, etc.) that Cuban musicians have trouble buying in Cuba.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, because of the traditionally low wages Cubans receive, our trip (through our course fees, accommodation fees, and tips) will help them financially. For reduced environmental impact, we took intercity buses twice. For conservation support, we visited a national park (Topes des Collantes).
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Absolutely fabulous! We'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Read the operator's response here:
Planet and peopleWhen in Cuba we encourage everyone to learn about the country, the culture of the local people and the places being visited. Our tour leaders hold briefing meetings to inform about and discuss with clients all aspects of local life. This helps to have a better understanding of the area and a deeper appreciation of the people who live there.
It is our policy to carefully dispose of all waste whilst we are hiking in national parks and on visits and tours too. We encourage our clients to explore the natural environment in Cuba, and to learn about the wide range of flora, fauna and wildlife whilst they are there. The Cuban government is a firm supporter of sustainable development, re-forestation projects and conservation and Cuba has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world - we aim to help keep it this way during our visit.
In the cities, we encourage our clients to think about the amount of water they use for showering and washing and the use of air-conditioning units in their rooms.
We encourage everyone to stay in local homes whilst we are in Cuba so that our clients have an opportunity to meet and spend time with local people to learn something of local life. It also enables them to use their Spanish language skills, even at a basic level. Importantly, this also ensures that monies are spent at a very local level and go into the pockets of Cuban households. All our dance/music/language tutors and specialist guides are professionally trained Cubans and they are treated and paid fairly.
We support local Cuban businesses in every aspect of our trips - accommodation, transport, meals, drinks and activities - thus contributing directly to the local economy and community. We also regularly organise donations for local schools and educational projects. We recommend that clients consider donations of items such as toiletries, baby and childrens clothing, some medicines and luxuries such as soap to the families they visit and projects we support.
We also regularly provide donations to two youth theatre and drama companies in Santiago de Cuba, bringing material for costumes and stage make from the UK or buying essential items locally such as paint for props.
On our dance and music holidays, we recommend that clients bring with them any musical or dance items which they can leave for their tutors, such as shoes, strings, instruments or dancewear. On our hiking trips, we encourage the donation of appropriate items such as hiking shoes or boots, small rucksacks, water bottles, penknives and other such items for the specialist guides accompanying the tour.