My wife and I attended the 2020 Havana Jazz Festival with Chaz Chambers, who operates Havana Music Tours. It was a wonderful experience in every respect. Chaz made arrangements for... read more accommodations and meals, as well as a few touristic activities (walking tour of old Havana, visit to the music conservatory, etc). There were activities from midday until late at night, but tour participants could choose to come along, retreat to their hotel or pension, or set out on adventures of our own choosing. Chaz had anticipated just about every eventuality and all arrangements went off very smoothly.
The tour included passes to hear music afternoons and evenings at a variety of venues in central Havana. Chaz, who himself is a professional drummer, curated the selection of concerts and provided transportation for our group of 7 to and from all the events. The performances, which included both Cuban and foreign musicians were all good and most were excellent. The musical level in Cuba is extraordinarily high. We hear some of these performers on tour in the US and on recordings. But to hear so many of them playing together in a single place in a single week is a privilege.
At present it's much easier than most people imagine for Americans to visit Cuba. You can fly from several US cities to Havana, and you buy a visa at the airport. The US government places restrictions on where you can stay and what you can buy, but these restrictions are easy to work with. Best of all Havana Music Tours looked after all the paperwork, so we never had to give the matter a second thought.
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My husband and I just returned from an absolutely amazing 4-day custom tour with Havana Music Tours. Chaz and his fiancée were the epitome of professionalism and warmth. They paid... read more attention to every detail and introduced us to local partners who equaled them in every way. Though HMT we were offered unparalleled glimpses into Cuban life, history, music, and culture.
We are very well traveled and generally do everything on our own. While choosing Cuba as a destination, however, and not speaking Spanish, we felt it would be best if we had a tour. We couldn’t be happier with our decision as it surpassed our expectations. We experienced the hippest restaurants and concerts, mingled with musicians, and took salsa lessons with a pro.
In all, it was an experience we could never have had without Havana Music Tours. We hope to book again with a group of friends!
Two things: 1) Go to Cuba while you can and 2) Go with Havana Music Tours. You'll have a wonderful time with Chaz (and Cuban crew) who is hooked into... read more the best of Havana--the best accommodations, music, food and affinity for this fascinating place.