Casa de Palo
- The Malecón
- La Casa Balear (23 y G)
- Free concerts
- Happy Hours
Yes, Cuban music is famous all over the world. Everybody knows at least the Buena Vista Scocial Club.
But Cuban music is not just Salsa and Son or Reaggeton. There is much more and especially young Cubans experiment a lot and make mix different styles and influcences to create a unique musical envoirnment. There is Cuban Rap, Indie Rock, Reaggea, Punk, Metal and also electronical music.
In Havana you can see concerts from different groups and styles in many places like the Fabrica de Arte Cubano or the Diablo Tun Tun (Calle 35, esquina 20, Playa) and the Corner Café, or Clubs like the Berthold Brecht (Calle 13 e/I y J, Vedado) or the Submarino Amarillo close to the John Lennon Park .
In those places you can discover more Cuban music and see live concerts for just a small fee or even no entrance prices. You can enjoy Jazz, Indie and other types of music that you might nor have expected on the Island.
Here are just some artists and songs that you should have heard of:
The artist who also started the F.A.C in Havana grew up in very musical environment and mixes a lot of styles and influences. He has a lot of songs about the Cuban lifestyle and everyday life. He got popular, also internationally, by making the soundtrack to the Spanish movie: Habana Blues.
Check it out:
Buena Fe are really popular on the island. They have nice and interesting lyrics and catchy songs, also they do great live concerts. They form part of current Cuban culture so if you have a chance to see them while you there, do so!
They also have quite creative video clips, check them out:
Wichy De Vedado
My next tip is a Cuban DJ, who named himself after a neighborhood in Havana. He produces and mixes his music in his home in the Vedado and does a really good job with it!
check it out:
Another good Cuban Dj. You could also expect him to play in a Club in Berlin or elsewhere in Europe.
Telmary does Hip Hop mixed with Cuban rhythms and Cuban topics. Her music is for listening and for dancing. She gives great concerts and you should also have heard of her or take the chance to see her live!
Sweet Lizzy Project
Sweet Lizzy Project is a young indie band. They sound like a indie folk band from Norway or Sweden, but they are from Cuba and they rock!
don’t miss them:
So check these artists out and be surprised by the variety of Cuban music. Soon there will be more about Cuban music here…
There are some things you should know about before you travel to Cuba, or at least have a rough idea about them to avoid unpleasent suprises.
I am not talking about planning every detail about your trip… just some basics
so here we go:
THE INTERNET: Cuba has an extremely poor internet envoirnment and most of the foreign companies have really high roaming fees for Cuba. And, yes I mean extremely poor internet envoirnment, there is no private internet connection, just public WIFI in parks or hotels (2CUC -3CUC per hour). More habout the Internet here. And more about Telefons and Cells here.
MONEY: There are two currencies in Cuba (maybe that’s going to change soon) the CUP and the CUC (similar value than USD). One CUP is 24/ 25 CUP and you can pay with both of them in almost every place, you just have to know how much they are worth. You can change money in banks and CADECAS (currency enchange) or withdraw from the ATM with Visa or Mastercard. Just be carefull with American cards, there are still some problems. Try to get money in the bank with your credit card, before your try the ATM. (The last advice is just for travelers with American Credit Cards). More about Money here.
ACCOMODATION: Stay in BnB (Casas Particulares), more here.
TRANSPORT: There are buses and shared taxis all around the island. Also you could hitchhike if you are on a budget or seek for authentic adventure. More abut transport here.
Here are some general tips for behavior in Cuba.
Politeness: Be polite to the people. Please don’t just walk into homes, schools or official buildings without permit. (Would you want people to do that at your home?) If you want to talk politics be polite and not hardly direct and accept it if people do not want to talk about that kind of topic. Also be respectful. If you want to bring gift please consider this post first.
Tipping: As in many countries, in Cuba you also tip 10%. Sometimes the 10% are included in the check. You usually would tip in restaurants and bars, also tour guides or taxi drivers. In a restaurant you leave the money with the check, wait until the waiter returns with your change and then leave the amount you would like to tip.
Toilets: There is a thing about Cuban toilets that you shouldn’t forget: Do not through your paper in the toilet!Never! In most places like hotels or public restrooms you should pay about 10cents or 1 CUP for the paper, or carry your own. Also be aware that most public restrooms are not in the best condition.
Safety: Generally Cuba is a very safe place. Nevertheless you should be aware that there are pickpockets and scams in touristic areas.
Water: Do not drink tap water. You should buy bottled water or drink boiled and filtered water like most people in Cuba do. Don’t wonder if you cannot get water anywhere, that happens. Make sure to drink enough because of the heat and the sun.
Read here what’s useful to prepare before traveling to Cuba.
There is a lot of art and interesting projects in Havana. Some of them combine the artist’s work with social projects that benefit their neighborhoods and the people living there. One of those projects is the “Museo Orgánico Romerillo” opened by the artist Alexis Leiva Machado (K’cho), from the Isle of Youth. K’cho studied art in the close by ISA and was one of the youngest Latin American artists to exhibit his work in museums like the MoMA in New York. In 2014 he opened the Romerillo in 2014 as part of the 12th Bienal in Havana. It’s an interesting place combining art, learning and social projects.
K’cho started a exhibition with google this year is offering free Wifi to anybody. In the Studio there are several art students working and their are also given time and space to create their own work with the equipment of the studio.
They know a lot about the place and K’chos work and are happy to give you a tour around the Romerillo to see his work and the work of artists that participate in the project.
The Romerillo is close to the ISA (art school) and the Paradero de Playa in the neighborhood Playa in Havana.
check: http://www.kchoestudio.com for more information and to keep updated about current projects.
If you have time in Havana make a visit to the studio, you won’t regret it!