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Rhythms of Cuba: Music, Dance and Art

 Cuba People to People Trip Dance

November 8-19, 2017

Small Group- Maximum of 10




Cuba . . . land of political dreams, 1950’s Buicks, cigars, rum, and coconuts, and the constant pulse of rhythm and dance. Drumming and music are the heart and soul of Cuban culture, and this trip is a rare opportunity to connect with the culture and people of Cuba by studying with her seasoned musicians and dancers. By meeting and talking with the artists and every-day people of Cuba we will explore the similarities and differences in our cultures, and share our common rhythmic language.

This trip is real-life travel. Our trip will take place at the relaxed pace of Cuban culture, in the streets, and at the eye-level of everyday citizens. We will forego the high-rise hotels and stay in Casa Particulares, small bed and breakfasts run by local families. We will avoid the tourist shows and go where the Cubans go- to street music in the outdoor plazas and to local clubs and restaurants to hear the best rumba, son, and Cuban jazz. Everyday we will meet with Cubans for music and/or discussion- learning about daily life, the intriguing economic and political system, and the experience of being a musician in Cuba.

How does this trip offer legal travel to Cuba?

Since the Cuban revolution in 1959, the United States has maintained a trade embargo to Cuba, and restricted travel to Cuba for American citizens. This trade embargo still exists, and while American citizens are now allowed to travel to Cuba, they may do so only under strict guidelines that ensure that the trip is educational in nature, and not traditional tourism.  True Nature Journeys held a “People-to-People” license in 2014, issued by the U.S. Government, which authorized TNJ to conduct educational trips to Cuba that involved ‘meaningful interaction’ between the citizens of Cuba and the citizens of the United States. Now, organizations are no longer required to hold a People-to-People license, but any individuals traveling to Cuba must follow the same guidelines and restrictions that were outlined in the license, and any organized groups must do the same.

The Rhythms of Cuba trip follows the same itinerary that was carefully scrutinized by the U.S. to ensure that it met the criteria for the People-to-People license. You can rest assured that if you are questioned about your activities on return to the U.S., you will have met all of requirements for legal travel, including daily interaction with Cuban citizens. More information about legal travel in Cuba can be sent upon request. This will be our fourth True Nature Journeys trip to Cuba- we are an experienced provider of authentic Cuba travel.

Each day in Havana we will explore the musical arts, whether that is through lessons in Cuban drumming rhythms, taking a salsa or rumba class, exploring the cobbled streets of old Havana, listening to street music, or attending formal performances in time-worn concert halls. We will engage guides and teachers to help us understand the complicated political and economic landscape and to understand common daily life by visiting homes, family run restaurants, and artists’ studios. From Havana, we will travel to rural Cuba to explore the landscape, culture, and musical traditions of Valle Vinales, a UNESCO world heritage site known for its dramatic limestone cliffs, hiking, and rolling green tobacco farms.

Rumba Morena on the streets of Callejon de Hamel. 

This trip is for beginning and intermediate music, drumming, and dance lovers of all levels. Workshops will be tailored with parts for everybody at their own level of experience. Included in the trip is a thorough set of resources so you can learn about Cuban music and basic percussion techniques before your trip.