Explore the Venice International Film Festival With Film Critic Justin Chang
L.A. Times travelers will receive special passes providing total access to the movie village and all festival events. Departs Aug. 27, 2019.
It is impossible to think of Cuba without hearing its rhythms and visualizing its vibrant colors. Whether it is rumba, salsa or , the sound of Cuba is at the fore of its identity; the hues of Cuba speak to the history of the island and the passion of its people. On this six-day journey explore the sights and sounds of Cuba’s performing and visual arts. From the classical to the modern, experience the many facets of Cuban art, music and dance with behind-the-scenes experiences and interactions with artists. Though each work is different and each story unique, the shared artistic pulse and the need to create are fundamental to Cubans.
Nov 15-20, 2020
Join Cuba’s live music scene at Fábrica de Arte and hear a musical set at La Zorra y el Cuervo, one of Havana’s renowned jazz clubs.
Experience a private performance with Camerata Romeu, an all-female chamber orchestra.
Meet with prominent Cuban musicians for private discussions.
Explore the Afro-Cuban influence on art and music in Matanzas.
After arriving on a group flight from Miami, begin your expedition with a panoramic city tour of Havana, including a stop at the Plaza de la Revolución, which is one of the largest city squares in the world and the site of myriad political rallies. Experience the tour’s first Cuban flavors at a group lunch before checking in to your hotel on the famed Malecón. This evening, enjoy a festive welcome dinner at one of Cuba’s best (privately owned restaurants) followed by a performance at Havana’s premier jazz club, La Zorra y el Cuervo, where top musicians jam nightly until the wee hours. (L, D)
Participate in a panel discussion at the Cuban Institute of Music, where you will meet with professionals representing different aspects of the Cuban sound. Discuss the history surrounding what is considered traditional Cuban music as well as lesser-known influences. On a walking tour of Old Havana, explore the National Theater and a luthier’s violin workshop. At Casa de Africa, enjoy a brief musical performance and discussion with musicians. Later, meet with members of a group devoted to the works of Mozart. Following dinner at a , sit in on a set at Café Taberna, where members of the Buena Vista Social Club have played. (B, L, D)
Meet with a Cuban singer/songwriter for a private discussion moderated by your host. In Jaimanitas, let the colors and whimsy of Jose Fuster (considered the Cuban Picasso) surround you as you explore his art studio and learn about the aims of the local community art project. Don’t even try to sit still during a high-energy dance performance by Habana Compas at their headquarters, followed by a Q&A with the artists. After dinner at leisure, head out for a night at FAC (Fábrica de Arte Cubano), a combination performance venue and art gallery where the next generation of Cuban musical voices is often showcased. (B, L)
Travel east to Matanzas, a town on the north shore that has the strongest Afro-Cuban identity of anywhere in the country. In the 1850s, almost three-quarters of the population of Matanzas was enslaved. The sounds, rhythms and poetry that came from that time provide a bass line that runs throughout the province. Visit AfroCuba, one of the island’s legendary folklore groups that incorporates African dance and percussion into its performances. You will have the option to try your moves at a dance class following the performance. After lunch at the colonial Hotel Velasco, visit the Matanzas art school and interact with students. Back in Havana, stop by Cuba Libro, Cuba’s first English-language bookstore and cultural center. Meet with staff members to discuss the center’s commitment to operating with social, cultural and ethical responsibility and supporting its local community. The evening is yours at leisure. (B, L)
Meet with a female Cuban hip-hop artist for a private discussion followed by a visit to EGREM, the national record label of Cuba. Lose yourself in the stalls of Almacenes de San José, the largest artisans’ market in Havana. Later this afternoon enjoy a private performance by all-female chamber orchestra Camerata Romeu. Celebrate your Cuban expedition with a hands-on cooking class and farewell dinner followed by a surprise musical activity curated by your expert. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, depart for your group flight to Miami and on individual flights onward. (B)