34th Havana International Jazz Festival
Jazz Plaza 2019
First held in 1978, the Havana Jazz Festival has since expanded into an international event. It attracts jazz lovers from all over the world to enjoy the creativity of international artists, as well as Cuba’s tremendous home-grown talent.
January 16-21, 2019
Six (6) days and Five (5) Nights
Airport Transfers in Cuba
Bed & Breakfast Accommodations
Full Program Itinerary
Expert Guided Tours
Meals & Daily Breakfast
Jazz Festival Pass
$2895 Double Occupancy
+$385 Single Supplement
***Not Included: Flights, Visa & Gratuity
About Jazz Plaza
The first Havana International Jazz Festival was held in 1978, when a group of well-known Cuban musicians, led by Bobby Carcassés, held an outdoor jazz concert in downtown Havana. It was a resounding success and was organized for a second year, featuring pianist Chucho Valdés. Renowned artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Charlie Haden, Roy Hargrove, Jack DeJohnette, Danilo Perez became part of the Havana scene on a regular basis.
In 1996, Chucho Valdés became artistic director of the Havana International Jazz Plaza Festival and president of the Organizing Committee. The festival has since expanded to include all the main concert halls in downtown Havana, not to mention impromptu street jam sessions along the Malecón. Today, the festival attracts jazz lovers from all over the world to enjoy and participate in this ever-evolving creative experiment.
For a look at the 2018 Official Line-Up: Click Here.
Brief History of Jazz in Cuba
In Cuba, music is life and life is music. All times of the day and night, music pours into the streets from homes, cars, businesses, and the like. It is the reason for the warm, loving, and optimistic spirit of the Cuban people long noted by visitors, despite their daily reality. Cubans enjoy all types of music, but particularly their own, whether it be bolero, son, regueton, rap, changui, timba, songo, or rumba, to name a few, because it tells a story, expresses popular feelings, and unites people. Jazz is no different!
Before and after the abolition of slavery in Cuba (1886), many black Cubans immigrated to New Orleans and introduced rhythms and styles that had been developed in Cuba. At the same time, black New Orleanians were sent to Cuba during the U.S. intervention in the Cuban independence wars against Spain in 1898. During that time, New Orleans musicians introduced brass instruments to their Cuban brethren. Fighting during the war only lasted a few days, but New Orleanians remained for up to 4 years, as part of the U.S. occupation. The soldiers worked together during the day, and passed the nights doing what Cubans and New Orleanians do best... making music and having a good time. These conditions were perfect for the exchange, which would spawn a new musical genre- jazz.