A musical journey from East to West
15th - 29th March 2017
Songlines Music Travel, in association with Master Travel, invites music lovers and travellers alike on a trip of a lifetime to explore one of the great cultural and musical destinations of the world. With the recent developments in US-Cuba relations, it is a rapidly changing country, so now is the best time to go and see its vibrant and unique culture.
Accompanied by our Songlines Travel Leader the journalist and broadcaster Phil Sweeney, author of the Rough Guide to Cuban Music and a regular Songlines contributor, you will gain unique access to music and musicians throughout the country, as well as the chance to share intimate knowledge of the places you will visit.
Each Songlines Cuba trip is unique, taking in the most unmissable events of the moment. This time we are including two very special ingredients. For the first time we will attend the Pepe Sanchez Trova Festival in Santiago, an important but relatively little known event devoted to one of the great founding genres of Cuban music. In Bayamo we will participate in the filming of a new Anglo- Cuban film centred around the world of one of the biggest carnival dance bands of the country.
Other highlights include:
- A rapid and bracing immersion into the musical world of the capital Havana via visits, meetings and gigs
- Getting beneath the surface of Santiago and Trinidad, often experienced only superficially by tourists
- The music scenes of Camaguey, Bayamo and Matanzas, vital provincial cities normally overlooked
All Songlines Music Travellers will receive an information sheet about the local music plus recommended recordings and DVDs.
Cuba - Havana - Trinidad - Itinerary
Please note that this is a provisional itinerary only. The final itinerary will be confirmed in your pre-departure pack which will be sent to you 2 weeks before departure.
15th March: Havana
Upon arrival into Havana, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you can relax after your flight. In the evening, we will meet our Songlines Music Travel Leader who will introduce you to our itinerary and musical plans. Afterwards, we will head out to experience our first taste of Cuban rhythms.
16th & Friday 17th March: Havana
We will spend the next 2 days thoroughly exploring Havana, including a walking tour of the old town, delving into the music of the capital, learning about the recording scene, visiting the best music venues and partying in local bars and restaurants.
18th March: Havana - Santiago de Cuba
In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Santiago de Cuba. After checking into the hotel, we will embark on a city tour of Santiago. We will also explore some of the music of the region, including visits to local musicians.
19th & 20th March: Santiago de Cuba
We will experience the first two days of the International Pepe Sanchez Trova Festival, held on the anniversary of Pepe Sanchez' birthday. We will be able to take in the atmosphere of the festival and watch live acts from all over Cuba.
21st March: Santiago de Cuba - Bayamo
Today we will travel by road to Bayamo, stopping at El Cobre Sanctuary en-route. Upon arrival in Bayamo, we will take a sight-seeing tour which will include the birth house of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (the 'Father of Cuba'), Anthem's Square and Bayamo cathedral.
22nd March: Bayamo
A day devoted to Eastern Cuban traditional and dance music, including partying and hopefully filming with Feverson, the carnival kings of the East.
23rd March: Bayamo - Camaguey
Drive to Camaguey, Cuba's third largest city, where we will have a tour of the main sights and where we will stay overnight.
24th March: Camaguey - Trinidad
Drive to Trinidad, stopping to explore the town of Sancti Spiritus on the way. We will wander through the streets for an initial exploration before heading out in the evening to experience the music and atmosphere at the Casa de la Musica and to try some salsa.
25th March: Trinidad
We will spend the day getting to know Trinidad, through a walking tour of the old town and a visit to the Romantic Museum. We will be able to explore the music and meet some local musicians. In the afternoon we will head to nearby Playa Ancon to relax on the beautiful white sandy beach.
26th March: Trinidad - Matanzas
Continue west along narrow country roads, to Matanzas, stopping in the colonial town of Cienfuegos en-route. Spend the evening enjoying a Tropicana show.
27th March: Matanzas
After a quick tour of the town, we will spend the day exploring the music that came from this important region.
28th March: Matanzas - Havana
We will head back to Havana for our last full day in Cuba. Here we will be able to catch a few more sights, do some shopping, or simply sip a mojito overlooking the Malécon. In the evening, we will hit the town for the last time to catch some more music in this vibrant city.
29th March: Havana
Our tour will end after breakfast, and we will be transferred to the airport for our return home.
Tour price excluding flights to/from Havana: £2,995 per person.
For more information on this trip please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7501 6741