Course Description

Discover Cuba's exotic international jazz festival, the charms of old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage site Trinidad de Cuba, Santa Clara and Cienfuegos.

Cuba is a tropical paradise with a history steeped in Spanish and American cultures. Since the 1959 revolution, direct American influence has been removed while the Castro government has placed a heavy emphasis on developing the country's artistic scene, as well as sports, education, and health care. The result has been a highly developed musical culture that is respected all over the world. Cuban music is at the heart of salsa music, but Cuban musicians and music lovers also have a special taste for jazz. This is reflected in their annual Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza, now in its twenty-fifth year.

After a short flight from Calgary to Varadero, we will travel through the Cuban countryside to Trinidad, a beautifully maintained colonial city that has been largely untouched by the modern world. Then, it is on to Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and finally Havana, where we'll attend the jazz festival in the evenings and tour glorious old Havana during the day.

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Accompanying Resource Person: John Reid, a saxophonist and flutist is the prairie regional director of the Canadian Music Centre and has taught jazz history on an annual basis at the U of C since 1984. He has recorded two compact discs: Island shuffle (1993) and Caravan (2003). This is his third travel study to Cuba.


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