My wife and I attended the 2020 Havana Jazz Festival with Chaz Chambers, who operates Havana Music Tours. It was a wonderful experience in every respect. Chaz made arrangements for... read more accommodations and meals, as well as a few touristic activities (walking tour of old Havana, visit to the music conservatory, etc). There were activities from midday until late at night, but tour participants could choose to come along, retreat to their hotel or pension, or set out on adventures of our own choosing. Chaz had anticipated just about every eventuality and all arrangements went off very smoothly.
The tour included passes to hear music afternoons and evenings at a variety of venues in central Havana. Chaz, who himself is a professional drummer, curated the selection of concerts and provided transportation for our group of 7 to and from all the events. The performances, which included both Cuban and foreign musicians were all good and most were excellent. The musical level in Cuba is extraordinarily high. We hear some of these performers on tour in the US and on recordings. But to hear so many of them playing together in a single place in a single week is a privilege.
At present it's much easier than most people imagine for Americans to visit Cuba. You can fly from several US cities to Havana, and you buy a visa at the airport. The US government places restrictions on where you can stay and what you can buy, but these restrictions are easy to work with. Best of all Havana Music Tours looked after all the paperwork, so we never had to give the matter a second thought.
What are you waiting for . . . ?
Read all the reviews on this Tripadvisor site, then add our names to the list of enthusiasts! The praise for Chaz and his Havana Music Tours is well deserved. Chaz... read more knows his music, he knows Cuba and he knows how to put travelers at ease. For us, it began ahead of the trip as Chaz worked with us to tailor it to our needs. With his good suggestions, it included fabulous late-night jazz fusion, personal salsa instruction, sitting in on a rehearsal of a world-famous Rumba group, beach time and -- bonus-- a Cuban wedding. In addition we visited all the colorful, iconic Havana sites -- in vintage cars, of course. We saw the old city, the Cuban Art Museum, El Morro fortress, the markets, the residential neighborhoods and more. We enjoyed experiences with Chaz we might never have found on our own. After 5 days, we felt like Chaz and his crew -- special shout out to Rocia and Miguel -- were family. They proved that in Cuba, warmth is more than the weather. Read no further -- just sign up for a tour with Havana Music Tours now.
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