Cuban Music Festivals
(Updated February 2022)
By Chaz Chambers(Musician, Tour Guide Leader, and Director of Havana Music Tours and Musical Getaways)
Cuba and its capital Havana have been renowned for being one of the premier musical hotspots in the world. After all, you can see it, hear it and feel it everywhere. From narrow alleys and balconies to blasting speakers from cars to hottest venues and dance floors. But just because we can see it anywhere and everywhere, doesn‘t mean we should ignore a wonderful opportunity to explore particular Music Festivals in Havana.
Music Festivals in Havana are not only they are unique to each other and are rich in variety, but they offer the best Cuban music with a spice of international twist as well. We invite you to explore our list of the top 5 most popular music festivals in Havana where everyone is bound to find something they prefer and admire!
We simply have to start with a jazz festival. After all, we are talking about Cuba! Havana International Jazz Plaza Festival is one of the most important music events in the country.
The Festival dates back to 1980 to its first gig. And over the years it became nothing short of a premium jazz experience in Havana and all of Cuba. Performances from such artists as Telmary, Joe Lovano, Interactivo, Alain Perez, and others only testify to it.
It is all about diversity in artistic expression, inter influence between different music scenes, and a strong presence of international music. Attending the Havana Jazz Plaza Festival will allow you to truly feel that pulse of music that Cuba is known for!
The festival pulses right in the heart of Havana with a profound link to musical culture and heritage. A celebration and showcase of talent from both Cuba and around the world.
The broad spectrum of musical genres available to soak upsets the festival apart the most. From hip-hop, folk, and jazz to acoustic, reggae, electronic music, and more! Havana World Music Festival ensures that everyone will find their moment of groove! In addition to all of this, you‘ll also be able to witness dazzling street art, dance performances, and other forms of creativity exploding.
To sum it up, the award-winning Cuban artist said it best about the festival: “The focus of HWM is to give the Cuban people the chance to become acquainted with the musical diversity of Cuba and the world and encourage exchanges among international and Cuban bands. This can be very beneficial to the musicians, producers, and music promoters in our country“
Let‘s shift our focus to the drums! Fiesta del Tambor offers a wonderful chance for percussion enthusiasts to attend the biggest drum party on the island.
Featuring some of the best percussionists, drummers, and musicians, both international and local, the festival is now operating for more than 15 years and is organized by the National Center for Popular Music.
Greatest percussionists and drummers are accompanied by Cuban dance music bands, various dance groups, folklore jazz compositions, and even Drum masterclasses and cultural events. A festival is rich in every aspect of heritage, art, and music.
4. International Salsa Festival
Just as we turned the tides towards drumming, we are now going to put some emphasis on dancing. A form of expression that has been around since 3300 BC!
The festival offers a 7-day adventure with over 100 hours of dance classes with different levels and styles to choose from. Whether it is Casino dance (style of Cuban salsa), ChaChaChá, Reggaeton, or Rumba with much more available. And once the sun sets, the party will set Cuban salsa clubs on fire!
Capture the very best of Cuban dance and share your love for music and dancing with thousands of enthusiasts, performers, instructors that are bonded by a passion for something rather simple – dancing!
While every festival mentioned before had at least some kind of area they specialize in more, Josone Music Festival will be a beautiful mix of everything. The musical side of the festival will allow famous Cuban orchestras, dancers, musicians, and even international DJs to perform.
The Festival specialized in Cuban Jazz and Rumba, it includes two music stages inside Josone Park, one of the biggest in the beach city of Varadero (Matanzas province). If you‘re interested in something alternative and different format, then be sure to check out the potential of the Josone Music Festival!
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