Modernity in Cuban music continues to showcase excellent female artists, who make the culture grow on the island more and more. In the last 20 years, women musicians have stepped forward to create songs in various genres. Therefore, we could not end Women’s History Month without honoring the new generations of Cuban Women in Music. That’s why we are launching this second part of our blog CUBAN WOMEN IN MUSIC: SPOTIFY PLAYLIST TRIBUTE TO WOMEN ARTISTS – PART 1.
This new list of artists included in our Playlist will find an extraordinary variety of impressive Cuban and Cuban-American female musicians who defend their musical roots worldwide. Most of them are considered among the best contemporary female singers and composers in Cuba and Latin America due to the diversity of their voices and musical spectrum.
Cuban Women in Music, 21st Century songs written or popularized by female musicians in the last 20 years
Ángel y Habanera – by Liuba María Hevia
Mala – by Haila María Mompié
La Bella Cubana – by La Camerata Romeo / Zenaida Romeo
Bailando con otro – by Anacaona / Omara Portuondo
Donde stabas anoche – by Aymee Nuviola / Septeto Santiaguero
Lágrimas de soledad – by Danay Suarez
Guajiro – by Sexto Sentido
Tu nombre – by Diana Fuentes
Equivocao 8.6 – by Telmary y Habana Sana
Tenerme – by Gretell Barreiro
Palabras – by Haydée Milanés
La rumba me llamo yo – by Daymé Arocena
Mulata Linda – by Brenda Navarrete
Tengo que partir – by Luna Manzanares
Voy – by Eme Alfonso
River – by Ibeyi
Universo – by Yissy García y Bandancha
Bonus track: Havana – by Camila Cabello / Young Thug
You can find our Spotify Playlist Tribute to Women Artists here. Enjoy, and let us know your opinion about our selection on the bottom part of this blog post.
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/telmarys.jpg?fit=800%2C530&ssl=1530800yamicabrerahttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgyamicabrera2022-03-28 11:50:242022-04-01 14:55:28Cuban Women in Music: Spotify Playlist Tribute to Women Artists – Part 2
Cuban women are the inspiring soul of the great culture that Cuba preserves. Each sector of Cuban society and each bit of history contains the names of sovereign and courageous women who became examples for the nation and the world. That’s why we want to share this Spotify Playlist Tribute to honor the role of Cuban women in music during this Women’s History Month.
There is an extended list of female figures who have triumphed in the Cuban and international music scene when it comes to musicians. They have made history through songs.
Many of these courageous women have become an example for younger generations in Cuban society. Among these musical legends it is possible to mention: Maria Teresa Vera, Omara Portuondo, Celia Cruz, Isolina Carrillo, Mercedita Valdés, Elena Burke, Rita Montaner, Celeste Mendoza, Rosita Fornés, and others.
Nowadays, Cuban culture enjoys an immense arsenal of talented young women who defend their musical roots anywhere. Cuban women musicians have positioned themselves among the best in the industry. Some of them are Daymé Arocena, Eme Alfonso, Yissy García, Brenda Navarrete, Luna Manzanares, Gretell Barreiro, Diana Fuentes, Telmary, Vanesa Formell, Aymée Nuviola, La Reina y la Real, etc.
A long list of women’s names has become part of Cuban cultural and daily life due to their crucial role in music. We know that we can count thousands of songs dedicated to Cuban women, but we can also acknowledge a lot written, performed, and popularized by various women. In this Part 1 of our Spotify Playlist Tribute to Women Artists, we would like to mention essential classic songs written or popularized by women musicians in Cuba.
The following list mentions a few of our favorite classic songs written or popularized by Cuban women.
Veinte Años (written by Maria Teresa Vera, in 1935)
Damisela Encantadora (popularized by Esther Borja in 1935)
Dos Gardenias (written by Isolina Carrillo, in 1945)
Quimbara (popularized by Celia Cruz in 1974)
El Manisero (popularized by Rita Montaner, in 1927)
Yo soy el Punto Cubano (written by Celina González, in 1956)
Cuban women’s beauty and unique identity have also been a source of inspiration for multiple musicians. You can find lots of great songs dedicated to Cuban women. Many of them become representative compositions of Cuban music internationally. We decided to include a few of these songs on our Spotify Playlist Tribute to Women Artists Part 1.
The following list mentions a few of our favorite classic songs dedicated to Cuban women.
Guantanamera (written by Joseíto Fernández, in 1929)
Longina (written by Manuel Corona, in 1918)
Marilú (title theme of the orchestra Los Van Van, between 1969 and 1970)
María Caracoles (written by Pello El Afrocán, in 1964)
Yolanda (written by Pablo Milanés, in 1970)
El cuatro de Tula (written by Sergio Gonzalez Siaba of the Buena Vista Social Club, in 1996)
You can find our Spotify Playlist Tribute to Women Artists Part 1 here. Enjoy, and let us know your opinion about our selection on the bottom part of this blog post.
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/dayme-arocena.jpg?fit=684%2C684&ssl=1684684yamicabrerahttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgyamicabrera2022-03-10 21:28:472022-03-30 22:08:24Cuban Women in Music: Spotify Playlist Tribute to Women Artists – Part 1
We want to start by saying that perhaps contrary to what many expected, all Cubans do not dance like salsa professionals; not even all of them like to dance. For some, it could be an evident axiom; for others, not so much, so it is worth the clarification. Although, Cubans have alternatives for any dancer. If you prefer slower and more relaxed types, you can practice danzón or son. But, if you desire faster and more energetic movements, you can try the casino, conga, rumba, and even reggaeton with its extreme sensuality add-on. In general, Cuba is full of options when you ask about dance styles. That’s what we want you to learn from our article today. Let’s find out what are Cuban dances like?
Local dances that Cubans like
The last three decades of history have changed the music-dance scene in Cuba quite a bit. Although many people tend to think that people from Cuba only dance casino (salsa style), rumba, and danzón, the truth is that Cubans nowadays practice a diverse and modern variety of dances. The cultural opening of the Island revived its link with international trends, a connection quite similar to other regions of the Caribbean and Central America such as Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, among others.
Like in other Caribbean contexts, reggaeton has become the favorite musical genre among the youngest and most of the Cuban population. However, even when Puerto Rican reggaeton is widely consumed by the Latinxs community everywhere, Cubans have their own style, different and particular. Without the intention of doing a far-fetched musicological dissertation in this regard, we will comment that this Cubanreggaeton is distinguished by a specific rhythmic cell based on the Cuban clave.
Cuban reggaeton also uses and generates a lot of local slang. Some of the most popular reggaeton names are Chocolate MC, Yomil y el Dany, El Chacal, Divan, El Taiger, Harrison, El Kamel, etc. Then, the dance has particular characteristics and patterns, totally different from the rest of the geographical area.
Besides reggaeton, the other most danced genre is timba, with its casino dance. Timba is a mix derived from Afro-Cuban jazz, similar to son (original type of salsa), but faster and more aggressive. Cubans started calling it casino dance since its widespread use in casino clubs during the ’50s. The style sets the basic rhythm of the salsa, but it does not do it linearly but freely.
In addition to these dances,we found Rumba dance, a folkloric style that remains strong among Cuban people. The Rumba style is divided into Yambu, Columbia, and Guaguancó. The dancers’ energy and flavor explosion is their central characteristic. Despite its more than a hundred years of history, this “mestizo” style continues to captivate generations and generations of Cubans.
The dance varies according to the style of each dancer and the type of variant. You can dance in pairs, separate people, or in a group. You can find rumba dance at both public and private parties, as well as in cultural or recreational centers. One of our favorite places to dance rumba is the Callejon de Hamel.
Another folkloric Cuban dance very vivid on the Island is conga. This genre has a marked African influence, where percussion plays the leading role. This style is a single type of dance, but in a group: the musicians play the congas (drums) and horns, and the dancers follow them through the streets, setting a basic rhythm with their feet. It’s also common for Cuban people to dance at least one conga at private parties and Carnivals.
Other styles danced in Cuba.
Cuba has been working hard to preserve a few other famous but “old school” styles among the popularity of many modern dances. “Classical” orchestras are a big part of this effort, groups that have essentially made Cubans dance for decades. Los Van Van and La Orquesta Aragón are two of these bands highly prestigious in the national and international music scene.
Los Van Van developed a music/dance style called Songo, where the Cuban son’s essence is interpreted with a particular rhythmic base and a charanga style of music format. The most faithful follower of this genre has been Maikel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor. Another of the most beloved by the Cuban people,La Orquesta Aragón, also uses a traditional charanga music format. They mostly performs danzones,chachachás, boleros, and sones.
However, we must point out that these music and dance genres are reserved for most adult populations. In the same sense, you must know that even when it seems paradoxical, the Buena Vista Social Club and its exquisite repertoire are icons currently reserved mainly for tourism and not the Cuban people. But, that doesn’t mean that they won’t enjoy it every time someone plays it.
On the other hand, it is essential to talk about foreign dance styles currently popular in Cuba, likemerengue and bachata. For the youngest, electronicand pop music also appear in their tastes. These styles have become very famous after the abundance of more modern music festivals on the Island. In this realm, we need to add a special mention of a phenomenon called Cimafunk. This band has made the funk style fashionable and danceable among Cuban youth, mixed with Afro-Cuban rhythms and other indigenous stylistic features.
As a general rule, family celebrations, national anniversary dates, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, the New Year, school graduations, religions, and the reception of friends or relatives who live in other regions are often top reasons to organize a party. Food, drink, and dance music will not be missing in these celebrations. We must add that, in reality, there is not always a reason for this kind of event; many times, Cubans meet only for leisure and recreation.
Yes, socialization and partying are essential elements in Cuban society. To better illustrate the Cuban character on this topic, note that some dates indicated as “International Worker’s Day” or “International Women’s Day” are usually commemorations of struggle and protest in other world regions; in Cuba, they are holidays. In addition, we will mention events such as Festivals and Carnivals, different spaces that occur regularly, and where music and celebration abound.
So, if you are looking for a community where you can find cultural parties, not so much in clubs, but spontaneous and artistic events, full of traditions, culture, and joy, Cuba is one of the best places for it. However, you can also find all kinds of venues around the Island with excellent music and an impressive number of people dancing.
We could list hundreds of reasons in favor of travel, and about the benefits of visiting and interacting with new cultures. One of these, without a doubt, is that knowing a new city allows us to confront stigmas and stereotypes usually built around culturally different communities. Cuba has not been exempt from this condition. That is why it is necessary to talk about these common stigmas related to Cubans and their culture.
If you like to dance, undoubtedly, Cuba will not disappoint you, especially since the conceptions of dance tend to be more accessible and without so many rigid structures of interpretation. As a general rule, Cubans value the atmosphere, the energy more than the virtuosity of the movements. Their celebrations are full of life and flavor, a friendly spirit, and communion. Even if you are not a dancer, but you like to enjoy this type of environment, in Cuba, you will have unforgettable experiences, and you will indeed be infected with the joy and warmth of its people.
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Cuban-Rumba-show-Yoruba-Andabo-Jazz-Plaza-Festival-2020-18-scaled.jpg?fit=2560%2C1701&ssl=117012560Editorial Teamhttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgEditorial Team2022-02-22 16:09:402022-04-07 11:41:59What is Cuban dance like? All you need to know about it
(Covid-19, Cuba tourism reopening, vaccinations, & more)
Hi Traveler friends,
It has been quite the journey for Cuba, the world, and all of us enduring the pandemic. While the pandemic officially continues, many countries around the world are reopening tourism in a responsible way. Cuba is one of those countries. Let’s check the newest Travel Updates.
The ministry of tourism on the Island has announced that it will open its borders to more tourism starting November 15th, 2021. See the newest entry requirements on our Ultimate Cuba Travel Checklist.
Over 90% of the Cuban population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, and health officials believe over 90% will be fully vaccinated before 2022. All workers in the tourism industry in Cuba are required to have booster vaccine shots as well.
We are seeing most of Havana’s famous music venues and restaurants reopen while maintaining super-low case numbers. on November 13th, 2021 the Island had less than 300 new cases of COVID-19 and they continue to decline each day.
Cuba could become one of the safest post-pandemic destinations in all of Latin America!
We really believe that all of that is the best option for travelers to Cuba going forward. We have small groups of no more than 10 people and we are also requiring proof of vaccination. You can rest assured that all of our tour leaders and guides are also fully vaccinated.
The Cuban Salsa festival in Havana, Cuba is one of those events where you won’t stop dancing for a second. The event brings together the most relevant famous music orchestras from all over the Island. It is an explosion of music and energy never experienced before.
The highlight of this Festival is the salsa music genre, better known in Cuba as “son” or “timba” -one of the most modern and popular variants of Cuban son. Hence, the possibility of enjoying the rhythmic-melodic combinations of contemporary Cuban popular music.
Since the first versions of the Havana Salsa Festival, the presence of Afro-Cuban rhythms, rumba, Salsa, and casino dance in different modalities has been shocking, such as concerts, showcases, conferences, visits to places with relevant musical history, etc.
The Cuban pianist and composer Maykel Blanco plays the primary host of the event, together with his Salsa Mayor orchestra and Cuban cultural institutions such as the Centro Provincial de Espectáculos y de Carnaval de La Habana (Provincial Center of Shows and Carnival of Havana), and other music businesses like Artex, Paradiso, Musicalia, Clave Cubana, Instituto Cubano of the music.
The festival headquarters is the Club 500 of the José Antonio Echeverría de Palmares Recreational Complex, besieged in the heart of one of the most central and popular neighborhoods in Havana, Vedado. The space includes a large stage with an extensive area conducive to enjoying good music and dancing with your friends.
Every year, the famous Cuban Salsa festival welcomes important Cuban groups such as Pupy y los que Son Son, Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son, Alexander Abreu y Havana D´Primera, and the legendary Los Van Van orchestra. In addition to national artists, the Salsa Festival has had the presence of international musicians such as the Puerto Rican salsero Victor Manuelle.
For 2022, Festival de la Salsa organizers presented another tight Line-Up, including the famous Cuban orchestras mentioned before. Let’s check it out!
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/havana-salsa-festival-2022-flyer.jpeg?fit=1875%2C1875&ssl=118751875Editorial Teamhttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgEditorial Team2021-11-08 09:37:502022-04-07 11:42:28Cuba’s International Salsa Festival in Havana – February 2022
When we talk about The History of Buena Vista Social Club Part 1 and The History of Buena Vista Social Club Part 2, we find that Buena Vista Social Club was the name of a Social Club where the best “soneros” of the 50s used to sing in Cuba. Then, it was a song that paid tribute to those sublime encounters and musical sessions of the homonymous Club. Later, the song would give the name to an album, a project, and finally to a musical artistic concept, with a particular style and format, founded on bringing together the glorious musicians and songs of previous decades. All that is Buena Vista Social Club.
The project traveled the world always changing the members of the orchestra. Although, it is true that some figures achieved greater popularity, becoming a kind of Buena Vista icon. Many of these original interpreters passed away a few years ago, others are now of advanced age. Let us remember that, by the creation date of the project in the 90s, the vast majority of artists were over 65 years of age.
What happened in Cuba?
Currently, in Cuba, the legacy and principles of the Buena Vista Social Club continue to be exalted, in a project called Tradicionales de Los 50. Because the original name is the intellectual property of the record company that recorded the homonymous album, the longest-lived figures of the Cuban son, they meet every night at the Rosalía de Castro Club. Located in the heart of Old Havana, there those songs that for years have brightened the lives of all those who enjoy them are honored.
Former members of the Sonora Matancera -the orchestra with which Celia Cruz recorded her first two musical albums in Cuba and a legend of Latin American dance music of the last century-, along with other great stars of the Buena Vista Social Club and Afro-Cuban All-Stars have been part of this project since 2002.
Among the most prominent figures who have collaborated, we find Julio Alberto Fernández, Barbarito Torres, Amadito Valdés, “El Guajiro” Mirabal, Julienne Oviedo Sánchez, Carlos González Cárdenas, Lázaro Villa, Rosa Fornés, Rolo Martínez and Manolo del Valle. These names are joined by other great personalities of the Cuban music scene: Rolito, Armandito y Navarro, Feliz Baloy, Hector Téllez, Alfonsí Quintana, Caridad Hierrezuelo, Hilda de la Hoz, María Elena Pena, Xiomara Valdés, Teresa García Caturla, Ela Calvo, María Victoria Gil, Amparito Valencia and Luis Téllez.
The current stars, all stand out for an important musical trajectory, of excellence within Cuban music. There we will find Rolando Montero, Mundito González, José Valladares, Jorge Mulet, Migdalia Hechavarría, Jose Luis Arango, Sergio Farías, Raquel Hernández, Flora Max, Pablo Santamaría, Millán Zuaznabar, Leonor Zayas, Feliz Bernal, Yanko Pizako, Emilio Ramos, Adalberto Ávila “Candela”, Martha de Santelices, Andrés Sánchez, Maria Elena Lazo, Alfredo Rodríguez, Laura Rodríguez and María de Jesús López.
The wide versatility of the project and its classic sound make this show a jewel of Cuban cultural heritage. A repertoire that ranges from the great classics of Miguel Matamoros, Miguel Cuní, Benny Moré, Compay Segundo, Celia Cruz, and Sonora Matancera -among others-, continues to transport us to the golden age of Cuban music, with the particular timbres and styles of each interpreter.
All of them preserve that old and delightful essence that allows us to enjoy, even in the XXI century, those glorious moments that made the Havana nights of past decades shine. An enjoyment turned into a privilege to get a live glimpse of the flavor and talent of the musicians who have made the whole world dance and distinguished the name of this beautiful island through passion and art.
You can find Parts 1 and 2 of this blog trilogy in the following links:
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/DSC00761-scaled.jpg?fit=2560%2C1707&ssl=117072560Editorial Teamhttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgEditorial Team2021-07-01 08:42:032022-04-03 10:44:52The Modern Buena Vista Social Club (Part 3)
Last year was one of the most difficult for artists, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, music events were not possible. However, the artistic movement in Cuba did not stop. Social media was flooded with concerts from every genre. Female artists made a difference during this time of total isolation. That’s why we prepared this list of the 10 most influential Female Musicians in 2020 as a tribute to them in this Women’s History Month. All of them are great singers and talented musicians.
Luna Manzanares is part of the young generation of Cuban Female singers. Last year she released a new album, “Luna Nueva,” made up of her songs, and ventured into musical theater. She also made her debut as host of the “Adolfo Guzman” Song Festival.
La Reina y la Real is a Cuban Female Musicians and Rap duo based in Havana, Cuba. These rappers released their most recent phonogram, “Mirame,” on April 3, 2020, under Bis Music record label. During the confinement, they participated in various international online programs and festivals.
Haila María Mompié is a Cuban Female Musician and singer and a trendy icon in the Cuban music scene. Last year Haila premiered her new children’s music album “A song to the smile,” licensed by the EGREM record label. She also frequently offered online concerts.
Daymé Arocena is one of the youngest Cuban Female Musician and singers dedicated to mixing Afro-Cuban music with Jazz, having already achieved a prominent career. She’s also one of the singers who emphasizes women’s right to art, regardless of race.
Brenda Navarrete is a surprising Cuban Female percussionist and singer with a very active career in Havana, Cuba. She is also a composer and jazz musician invited to Miami’s Global Cuba Fest 21. She stands out for reflecting Afro-Cuban rhythms in her songs.
Diana Fuentes is a very versatile Cuban Female Musician and singer currently based in Miami. She and Divan (Cuban reggaeton artist) starred in the song “Otra Boca,” one of the most popular last year. Diana captured the attention of the Spanish singer Pablo Alboran, with whom she co-authored two songs.
Telmary is one of the most potent Cuban Female voices of Cuban Rap Music and a former member of Free Hole Negro and Interactivo bands. Together with her group, Habana Sana, she has substantially impacted social networks. Being considered an icon for style, she launched her accessory brand “Tumbao de Telma” last October.
Several magazines selected the Cuban Female singer Omara Portuondo as the most important Cuban woman of 2020. She is also a national glory. Omara received another Grammy nomination for her latest album, “Mariposas,” with the collaboration of several artists. She was one of the first to join the online concert strategy.
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/brenda-navarrete.jpg?fit=1440%2C1440&ssl=114401440Editorial Teamhttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgEditorial Team2021-03-29 11:43:202022-02-23 21:26:54The 10 Most Influential Female Musicians in Cuban Music for 2020
The rumba is one of the most important and universal Cuban styles of music. Many travelers and music lovers go to the island of Cuba to learn and enjoy a good Cuban rumba. Without a doubt, it is a relevant cultural attraction of this Caribbean island. Therefore, in this article, we will be addressing some essential elements of this peculiar genre.
What does the term rumba mean?
The term rumba is included within a series of Afro-Cuban words that designate a collective and profane festival in Cuba during colonial times. It is originally conceived as a couple of dancers that occur within a related group of people. Rumba is a party, touch, and dance. It manifests itself within a cohesive collective by ties of kinship or friendship, of the neighborhood.
At the rumba party, some play the drums, others raise the song, others respond as a chorus, and the others cheer with claps, waddle, go into the ring to dance, etc. Initially, the instruments used in these festivities were boxes of different sizes, frequently boxes of cod and candles; to achieve the highest sounds it was percussed in a bottle, in pans, or in some metallic implement.
These instruments were replaced with the development of the genre by three “tumbadoras” or “congas” of different heights. Each drum has a particular and specific rhythmic function.
The highest voice, the “Quinto”, a talking drum, is the one in charge of the improvisations that urge the dancer to make different figurations. The third drum or “salidor”, with a deep voice, marks a low ostinato, and the middle voice, “tres dos”, produces another stable rhythm that balances the whole percussion section of the rumba music. The singer carries the “claves”, which start and remain stable during the song.
Generally, rumba songs are preceded by a melodic vocal inspiration called “Diana”. Then, with the entry of the text, improvisation begins to expose the issue that gives rise to the rumba; this is called decimating. After improvisation, it “breaks” the rumba with the entrance of the instruments and the alternating solo-chorus form.
When the rumba breaks, a couple of dancers go into the ring. The dance is evocative and, in general, convulsive and disjointed; every step and gesture represents the events that precede the possession of a chicken. The Cuban rumba also presents variants of its style of music and dance: the guaguancó, the yambú, the Columbia, and a Spanish type of rumba.
Cuban rumba style became known at the beginning of the 20th century through famous groups such as `Los Roncos´, and `El Paso franco´. Later, they met rumberos who acquired great prestige such as Agustín Pina, Roncona, Malanga, Tío Tom, Chano Pozo, Virulilla, etc.
New technologies and most current rumba sounds
Undoubtedly, technology has allowed the Cuban rumba to approach contemporary sounds. With it, the electric bass is incorporated into a percussive plane. On some occasions, you can see the electric piano’s presence and the jazz band’s current sound, which has accompanied us since the 1920s when Cuban musicians, mentioned above, brought the rumba and the son to the Latin Quarter of New York. In addition, we can regularly find the violin combined with a contemporary touch during the spiritual songs to the ancestors.
Nowadays, there are famous rumberos such as the Clave and Guaguancó, Yoruba Andabo, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Los Papines groups, among others. The artistic representation of this folkloric manifestation can also be appreciated in the presentations of professional groups such as the Conjunto Folclórico Nacional, and local groups such as Rumbatá de Camagüey and Rumbávila de Ciego de Ávila.
As you can see, these are just some relevant data regarding the Cuban rumba. The Cuban rumba is a complex and very peculiar artistic phenomenon. On our part, it only remains to invite you to meet and enjoy this wonderful Cuban party with us.
The rumba is one of the most attractive Cuban styles for our team. That is why we always have a special space for her on our Tours. Havana Music Tours offers the opportunity to enjoy this style through direct contact with specific artists and musical groups such as Los Muñequitos de Matanzas or Clave y Guaguancó.
However, we recommend our Cuban Jazz and Rumba Tour, Fiesta Del Tambor (VIP), and even the Josone Music Festival in Varadero (Rumba, Jazz Son). These tours specialize their experiences in Cuban musical matters such as the rumba, and especially its percussion instruments. It is valid to highlight that our agency will also take into account personalized suggestions.
Are you ready to dance and enjoy Cuban rumba with our Havana Music Tours team?
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/afro-cuban-rumba-party-in-havana-cuba-scaled.jpg?fit=2560%2C1920&ssl=119202560Editorial Teamhttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgEditorial Team2021-03-13 21:42:172022-03-24 11:25:02Rumba, an essential style of Cuban Music
Trinidad is a beautiful city in the center of Cuba. There we can find a very distinctive genre of this city, known as Tonadas Trinitarias. In the beginning, this musical expression was developed as part of a festive musician-dance event of a movement and purely profane nature. This style is currently performed by some of its main folkloric-traditional musical groups from Trinidad city.
Although its name refers to a generic species linked to country Cuban music, the Tonadas Trinitarias musical form is very distant from this type of music. On the contrary, it denotes a type of music that is accompanied by three small drums with the parietal wedge, a guataca, a guiro, and a mixed choir. This type of group is also very similar –in terms of sound and instrumental format– to that of the harpsichord choirs from the rumba and typical of the cities of Matanzas and Sancti Spíritus.
This tradition dates back to the second half of the 19th century, and some sources highlight its similarity with the beginning of the independence struggles and the revolutionary fervor of the time. They were organized by choral groups of men and women, in charge of representing the different neighborhoods established in the town.
During the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, it was known of the existence of two main groupings of Tonadas Trinitarias, each one representing specific neighborhoods, such as La Popa or Jibabuco and Simpá or ElTamarindo. However, the socio-cultural changes that occurred in the neocolonial stage caused a strong depression in the practice of these tunes, leaving both groups practically disabled.
The group meets again with the Triumph of the Revolution. This was possible at the request of government entities such as Cultura Municipal, and with the help of young art instructors. They bring together the main bearers of the tradition, it makes possible the creation of the Tonadas Trinitarias Group in 1963.
Unfortunately, starting in the 80s, this process led to the degradation of the tradition.The Tonadas Trinitarias became a generic type to be included as part of a repertoire of the Conjunto Folclórico de Trinidad, and other local groups.
However, due to the ideological and commercial value attributed to the tradition, this tradition has a new resurgence as a cultural product after opening the city to tourism in the 2000s. The Tonadas reaches into the present despite the great challenges in improving its practice.
Currently, the group remains in force thanks to its own members’ efforts and some of the cultural authorities of the town. The Tonadas Trinitarias can be found in different places in the very center of Trinidad, Cuba, such as the Palenque de Los Congos Reales, or in the Patio Bécquer.
Here are a couple of different videos,
including a collaboration with Havana Music Tours founder, Chaz Chambers
https://i0.wp.com/havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/las-tonadas-trinitarias-trinidad-cuba-scaled.jpg?fit=2560%2C1920&ssl=119202560Editorial Teamhttps://havanamusictours.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_0657-2-180x180.jpgEditorial Team2020-11-19 10:22:302022-03-14 13:47:35The Tonadas Trinitarias: The Folkloric Music of Trinidad, Cuba
This tour started out with a bang when we were greeted at the airport by the tour leader, Cuban interpreter and our own private taxi in his 1955 Chevy,... read more turquoise and white with red leather interior. We had asked for a vintage car ride thinking...More
themermaidshouse March 30, 2018
Thanks to Chaz and his terrific team, the Havana Jazz Festival was a wonderful experience. The music happens in theaters and clubs all over the city, and... read more having attended 5 years ago on our own, we know how hard it is to navigate the experience. Havana Music Tours makes it easy. They know the music and the musicians, and we enjoyed great music everyday without any hassle. The accommodations were 1st class and the food was amazing. My wife and I could not have been happier with every aspect of the trip.
allankatz41 January 28, 2022
Our visit to the 2022 Havana Jazz Festival with Havana Music Tours was a wonderful experience. Tour director Chaz Chambers and his Cuban wife, Yamilka, looked after all arrangements in... read more a professional and proactive way. They curated an outstanding selection of concerts, informal performances, and visits to musical institutions. Before and after the festival, when no performances were scheduled, they arranged private performances by musicians of their acquaintance, for example an afternoon tour of the "Afro-Cuban Religious Experience" through shrines scattered around Central Havana and a visit to a recording studio to hear a local band rehearse. Because US government rules do not allow Americans to stay in Cuban hotels, Chaz found housing for us in a series private homes, essentially BnBs, all of them clean and comfortable with ample breakfasts. Most of our other meals were included in the tour: they turned into festive occasions at some of Havana's best restaurants. We traveled around Havana and the nearby countryside in comfortable buses with tourism guides provided by a Cuban government agency. Chaz and Yami also looked after airport arrivals and departures, Covid testing, money exchange, and record keeping for the US government. Almost everything went smoothly, and when inevitable problems arose (e.g. a delay in Covid testing at the airport), Chaz and Yamilka dealt with them quickly and successfully. The best thing about Havana Music Tours was the people. Chaz, Yamilka, their assistants Zack and Miguel, tour guides Alejandro and Ernesto, even the bus drivers -- everyone was friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and really, really nice. As well, our fellow tourists turned out to be excellent company, with a variety of ages, backgrounds and musical interests. We look forward to the next Havana Jazz Festival.
Member24 January 1, 2022
My wife and I just returned from a trip to Havana with Havana Music Tours. We have never traveled to Cuba, most of our Caribbean trips have been to Aruba,... read more which is like traveling to Florida...no worries. Any anxiety we had about doing this trip evaporated almost immediately.
Greg P January 1, 2019
I went to Cuba with Chaz Chambers and his company Havana Music Tours, from the beginning I was immersed in the Cuban culture it was wonderful! We stayed at a... read more lovely casa with breakfast made every morning, we got to explore old Havana, it was filled with the most delicious food! Everyday was filled with afrocuban and jazz music, the Cuban people are some of the realest and nicest people I have met, I never felt unsafe and Chaz was a great tour guide throughout our trip, he took to the beautiful beaches and the grand music venues all around Havana. Chaz is definitely the way to go when booking your music tour he knows how to get around, and takes you to the best places to experience all the culture and music, I recommend his company if you are looking for an authentic experience! More
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