Cuba is one of the world’s great musical destinations. And for the past decade, since the release of the Buena Vista Social Club CD, music has been a part of Cuba’s international image. In fact there are those that credit World Circuit (the BVSC label) with helping the growth in Cuban tourism. Virtually anyone visiting Havana these days is likely to find themselves with a group of soneros strumming ‘Chan Chan’, but thankfully the Songlines Music Travel trip offers a good deal more than that. It’s led by Philip Sweeney, author of the Rough Guide to Cuban Music and regular Songlines contributor.
Essentially Cuban music is a mix of African and Spanish ingredients (from the slave population brought to the sugar and tobacco plantations; and the Spanish colonisers). Of the original inhabitants virtually nothing remains except the maracas and the adoption of the name of one of the tribes, Siboney, by the recording studios in Santiago, where son – Cuba’s most infectious fusion of African and Latin ingredients – was born.
Our journey through Cuba starts in the east, where son and the Cuban revolution began in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra. And it ends in Havana, where the popular sound of mambo emerged and where reggaeton holds sway today. A journey that will introduce us to the range of Cuban music today, from Afro-Cuban rumba, to son and reggaeton – ending with three rhythm-drenched days in Havana.
All Songlines Music Travellers will receive an information sheet about the local music, plus recommended recordings and DVDs.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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