Worldwide Study Tour of Cuban Music:
The Havana-Oriente Express, 1/03
Letter from Ned on 2001 Cuba Seminar
Letter from Ned on 2001 Cuba Seminar
I don't have to tell you the importance of Cuban music. Cuba was always a leader in music, and in Cuba the music has never stopped, not for a moment. Today the island is boiling with music and musicians.
If you want to know about Africa, go to Cuba - where the cultures of the Yoruba, the Kongo, the Carabalí and the Arará are maintained and practiced.
World Music Productions and the Cuba Research and Analysis Group have invited me to come along with you on an intensive cultural study session of Cuba that I think will be truly educational and inspiring. We're going to start out in Havana, then go across the island on an air-conditioned bus to the historic colonial city of Trinidad, to Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo, and back through the great Afro-Cuban city of Matanzas. We'll experience such typical Cuban genres as son, rumba, changüí and the Afro-Haitian tumba francesa, the sacred batá music and dance of the Yoruba religion, the modern style popularly called timba, and more. We'll meet with Cuban experts and scholars, with an emphasis on comprehending the history behind the places and genres we see.
Given that U.S. law forbids you to go to Cuba as a tourist, is this legal? Yes! This is NOT tourism - no beach trips, no cigar-buying expeditions. This trip is serious cultural study, and you have to qualify for it. (There are a number of ways you could possibly qualify. Contact us.) Knowledge of Spanish is not necessary, though it is helpful.
For more information, you can send an e-mail to email@example.com
I hope you'll join us in Cuba in November.
Cuban Music & Popular Culture Seminar
Havana - Santiago de Cuba - Guantanamo - Matanzas - Havana
Presented by World Music Productions and the Cuban Research and Analysis Group (CRAG)
NOTE: The schedule is still evolving. All activities are subject to change
November 22 (day 1) Thursday
Morning: Arrive at José Martí Airport in La Habana from Miami and check in at hotel (Note: all participants must be at Miami International Airport at 3:00 AM for check-in)
Evening: Welcoming dinner with Cuban musicians. We'll experience decompression by hanging out family style with an up-and-coming son band. We recommend turning in early because Friday's going to be strenuous.
November 23 (day 2) Friday (La Habana)
Morning: Walking tour of La Habana Vieja. A distinguished Cuban architectural historian will give a guided tour of the old city and answer your questions about its history.
Afternoon: Visit to Fundación Yoruba in Centro Habana - a newly opened museum created by an independent association of babalaos (scholar-diviners of the Yoruba religion popularly known as santería) which displays the personalities and attributes of the orishas (deities of the religion).
Evening: A visit to the Wemilere African Roots Festival in Guanabacoa, a barrio of Havana known for its intense Afro-Cuban culture.
November 24 (day 3) Saturday (La Habana)
Morning: Free time
Afternoon: Rumba and orisha performance with Yoruba Andabo. This excellent Havana-based rumba group plays and dances both rumba (the percussive Cuban street music) and music of the Yoruba religion using batá drums. In the latter segment the dancers impersonate the orishas in full costume.
Dinner: at a paladar, or private restaurant.
Evening: Timba research -- wherever the best dance band is playing. Timba is an old word for "rumba" that in the mid-90s came to be applied to the contemporary hard-edged black dance music of Havana. It could be Los Van Van, NG La Banda, Paulito FG, Issac Delgado, Adalberto Álvarez, Charanga Habanera, Bamboleo, Manolito y Su Trabuco - or someone else . . . we'll keep you posted.
November 25 (day 4) Sunday (La Habana-Trinidad)
Late Morning: Depart for Trinidad
Afternoon: Arrive Trinidad and check in at hotel
Evening: Cabildo de San Antonio de los Congos Reales. A traditional organization of Congo culture in Cuba.
November 26 (day 5) Monday (Trinidad-Santiago de Cuba)
Morning: Walking tour of Trinidad
Night: Arrive Santiago de Cuba and check in at hotel
November 27 (day 6) Tuesday (Santiago de Cuba-Guantánamo)
Morning: Depart for Guantánamo and presentation on Haitian and Jamaican culture in Cuba
Afternoon: Presentation of Tumba Francesa, the Afro-Haitian dance and music brought to Cuba after the Haitian Revolution of 1791.
Evening: Changüi. An old-timey cousin of the son of Oriente, the changüí still lives in Guántanamo.
Night: return to Santiago
November 28 (day 7) Wednesday (Santiago de Cuba)
Afternoon: Visit Basílica del Cobre, the mountaintop home of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, protector of Cuba and known in the Yoruba religion as Ochún. On a clear day you can see Jamaica.
Evening: Performance at Casa de la Trova, the home of traditional vieja trova in Santiago.
November 29 (day 8) Thursday (Travel Day)
Morning: Depart Santiago de Cuba for Matanzas.
Evening: Arrive Matanzas and check in at hotel.
November 30 (day 9) Friday (Matanzas)
Morning: Free time
Afternoon: Presentation on Afro-Cuban culture in Matanzas, one of the great African cities of the New World. Known as "the Athens of Cuba" for its cultural life in the 19th century, it was a commercial rival to Havana. Both a major slave port and the heart of the sugar industry, Matanzas gave birth to the danzón and the guaguancó, as well as being principal seats of santería, palo (Congo religion) and, from the Calabar region of the Africa, the Abacuá secret society for men.
Evening: Folkloric music and dance event.
December 1 (day 10) Saturday (Matanzas/Havana)
Late Morning: Depart for Havana
Afternoon: Free Time
Evening: Farewell Dinner and Night Out. There are always cultural events on Saturday night in Havana.
December 2 (day 11) Sunday (Havana)
Morning: Depart from José Martí Airport for Miami
|Afropop Worldwide's Cuban Music & Popular Culture
The cost of this tour is $3,250 for double-occupancy, including round-trip airfare between Miami and Cuba, accommodations at five-star hotels, English speaking Cuban guide, daily breakfast, most meals, walking tours of Havana's and Santiago's historic architecture and legendary music venues, museum and music venue entrance fees, and Cuba visa. The price for single-occupancy is $3,500 and we ask that you indicate your preference at the time of registration.
A non-refundable deposit fee of 10 % is required at the time of registration. Minimum deposit for single-occupancy is $325; minimum deposit for double-occupancy is $350. Your program deposit must be received by SEPTEMBER 1, 2001. Space is limited and registration is first-come, first-serve, so please send your deposit to the Cuba Research and Analysis Group as soon as possible.
TO REGISTER: Send your deposit (check or money order, please) along with the attached registration slip to the Cuba Research and Analysis Group. CRAG will then send you a detailed application form, which we ask you to fill out at your earliest convenience. Checks should be made out to: Cuba Research and Analysis Group (or) CRAG and sent to: Cuba Research and Analysis Group P.O. Box 6510 Albuquerque, NM 87197-6510
Afropop Worldwide's Cuban Music & Popular Culture Seminar
c/o Cuba Research and Analysis Group
For questions, please contact CRAG: Tel: 505-463-0439 Fax: 505-344-5049
Please register space(s) on Afropop Worldwide's Cuban Music & Popular Culture Seminar, Nov. 22 - Dec. 2, 2001. Enclosed is my non-refundable deposit of $325/$350 per person. I understand that space is limited and that registration is first-come, first-serve, even before the September 1, 2001 deadline.
City, State, Zip:
Home Telephone: Work Telephone:
Double Occupancy ($3250) Single Occupancy ($3500)
Here is a letter from Ned Sublette, founder of Qbadisc, about the Afropop Cultural Study Session in Cuba, February 4-15, 1999:
for their Cuba Study Tour, contact Cuba Research and Analysis Group (CRAG) at the University of New Mexico
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