traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

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Joe de V
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by Joe de V » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:01 pm

A visit to Cuba will expose you to two different worlds - One where there are exclusive areas set aside for visitor where the local Cuban, unless he/she is working there will not be permitted to enter. - It will be worth taking time and look at the 2013 Documentary - PBS Network - "Cuba's Secret Side" where you may get a good update of what is happening at least as of 2013 to the average Cuban in their every day life. I also look forward to visit Cuba since I had many Cuban friends while living in Puerto Rico from my age of 18 month to 17. Puerto Rico and Cuba share the same musical styles. Much different than the styles found in Mexico and some Central and South American nations. When I came back to the mainland and after retirement here in California I met two self-tough adult guitar players and we started a Trio - Trio Caribe - where we play primarily music from both of those islands as well as Central and South America.
In the old days - prior to the 1950's it was a saying that every child was born with the talent to play the guitar and other stringed instruments and the Cuban people in particular where very strong believers that a string instrument playing should be part of the education of a young child. You will enjoy the musical sounds of Cuba and the open friendliness of their people.
One thing I tend to believe based on my personal observations with the majority of people I have met is that in spite of their dire economic situation the average Cuban citizen is happier with friends and music than than the average American citizen.

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andreas777
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by andreas777 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:32 pm

andreas777 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:54 pm
When I was in Cuba with a Chilean girl friend a few years ago, we met some musicans near Varadero and in Havana. There was a fascinating street band, four members who played guitar and sang Cuban songs. (I forgot their name but I bought a CD.) My girl friend talked to them and asked them to compose a song for her. Then they played some songs only for us, and the voice of the lead singer was as load as a jet plane. Very impressive!
...
I quote my own comment to revive this old thread.
This autumn I will go to Cuba again, this time for 3 weeks, and I will visit many areas from East to West. Does someone here in the forum have a suggestion regarding 'guitar' and 'Cuba'? I'm not interested in general tips (accommodation or sightseeing), and I've already met lots of street musicians in Cuba. What I'm looking for are guitar events, public guitar schools, places to go and hear (good) guitar music or meet Cuban guitar players, or any other tips or experiences with guitarist or guitars in Cuba.
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

MessyTendon
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by MessyTendon » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:25 am

Bring a nice bicycle with full suspension, patch kit...good tires...ride and smoke some cigars :)

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andreas777
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by andreas777 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:12 am

MessyTendon wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:25 am
Bring a nice bicycle with full suspension, patch kit...good tires...ride and smoke some cigars :)
Unfortunately my mtb is slightly too big for my hand luggage :) but what about the availability of guitar strings in Cuba, does it make sense to bring some sets of strings to Cuba as gifts?
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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andreas777
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by andreas777 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:50 pm

I will be in Cuba for three weeks starting on Sunday. Any guitar-related tips or thoughts?
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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Christopher Freitag
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by Christopher Freitag » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:53 am

andreas777 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:50 pm
I will be in Cuba for three weeks starting on Sunday. Any guitar-related tips or thoughts?
Bring some guitar strings to give away. They aren’t easy to get in Cuba. Go to any public park and you’re likely to find a player or two that you can make very happy.
Chris Freitag
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chrisphattingh
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by chrisphattingh » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:53 am

I listened to Ali Arango, Cuban guitarist and winner of the 2017 Segovia price.

Whilst he played with extreme speed he can also play with wonderful feeling.

I enjoyed it.

Michael L
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by Michael L » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:25 pm

My information may be a little out of date. I flew out for £100 in the days following 9/11 when people didn't want to use aircraft.
This is what I experienced.
I kicked off my visit with a flight to Varadero. Beautiful beaches but I could have been anywhere so just a staging post and I travelled by bus to Havana the next day.
Anyone wishing to buy a car needs a permit. Those lucky enough often operated an unofficial taxi service. Bear this in mind if your taxi driver doesn't know his/her way around.
The best places to eat I found were in private houses - Paladares. I was led to one by a student I met on the Malecon (seafront). I am very trusting - it was so dark approaching the house and I was told to go up the unlit staircase. As approached the first floor apartment I could hear salsa music. Inside, the room was beautifully decorated and a small number of tourists were dancing or enjoying excellent food. It was frequently the case that a house may look like it hadn't been maintained for decades but particular rooms might be pristine.
Havana has to be experienced - the cars , the houses, the people.
I travelled to the coast - forget where now but the bus I arrived on was surrounded by Casa Particular owners (guest rooms). Tourism had been decimated by 9/11 yet they still were expected to pay tax for the rooms and were quite desperate to fill them.
It was a fascinating trip, my main regret being that I only had a week and no time to get to Santiago De Cuba - the music capital. It wasn't easy to mix with Cubans either. Sorry I don't have any guitar specific background but just a few tidbits.
Learn some Spanish and then when you join a bus queue and some says to you 'el ultimo' you'll know he/she is telling you that he/she is the last in the queue.

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andreas777
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Re: traveling to Cuba this summer any suggestions ?

Post by andreas777 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:18 pm

Thank you for your suggestions. Fortunately I can speak some Spanish, and so I will try to get in contact with street musicians. Let's see what I can tell when I'm back in 3-4 weeks :-)
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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