We booked a 5-night tour with Chaz and Havana Music Tours this past summer – and it was amazing. Among the many reasons to visit Cuba, and Havana in particular,... read more is the music. I’m no musician, but I know what I like, and I love the Cuban sounds, from son to salsa to Rumba, afro-jazz and more. Chaz, who is a professional musician besides a tour operator, knows all these and more. Finding the great music spots in Havana on your own is challenging. If you don’t know the music scene its likely that you’ll miss the best choices and wind up in a few overpriced tourist shows – not bad, but not the real thing. Going music-bar hopping with Chaz and Yamilka was like hanging out with knowledgeable friends for a few nights of music and great fun. Chaz took care of all the details – hotels, restaurants, classic cars – and all on our schedule. We had a really wonderful, hassle-free, music-rich and thoroughly delightful time, and made new friends of Chaz and Yamilka in the bargain. Grab the opportunity. Call Chaz and go… …
November 1, 2019
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 . . . ?
February 17, 2020
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