Havana Jazz Festival | insightCuba

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highlights: VIP Havana Jazz Festival Pass | Meet with Influential Musicologist Alberto Faya | Meet Musicians at EGREM Music Studios | Pastorita Art School | Handmade Publishing House | AfroCuba de Matanzas | Ernest Hemingway's House, Finca Vigia | Exclusive Day and Evening Jazz Festival Events | Visit the Studio of a Renowned Artist | Farmer's Market | Callejón de Hamel | Discuss Cuban Music and Culture with Top Local Musicians | Rum Museum

Jazz Festival Map of Havana and Matanzas

Join insightCuba and JazzTimes and experience Cuba's iconic rhythm during this six-day tour centered around the country's annual Havana Jazz Festival, a tradition since 1979. Over the years, the festival lineup has included artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Roy Hargrove and more. Join us this year, as we celebrate more top musicians and give you a rare look into the thriving Cuban jazz and art scene.

During this insightCuba Specialty Cuba tour we’ll not only attend day and evening performances as part of the Havana Jazz Festival, but we’ll take you inside the music scene with special visits and discussions with musicians, a visit to a music school, and other celebrations around Havana. 

SOME OF LAST YEAR'S 2018 HAVANA JAZZ FESTIVAL LINEUP

Dee Dee Bridgewater with Theo Croker and DVRKFUNK, Joe Lovano with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Cuba, Roberto Fonseca & X Alfonso, Chucho Valdés with “Friends & Family”, The Ted Nash Trio with Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison, Bobby Carcassés, Orquesta Aragón, Pancho Amat, Septeto Santiaguero, Ernan Lopez Nussa, Daymé Arocena, Arturo O'Farrill, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jessy J, Sandy Shore, Michael Lington, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Jorge Reyes, Los Brujos, Iba Ibo Yoruba Specimen, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Wayne Wallace, Big Energy Ensemble, Anton Doyle, Doug Martin, CABOCUBAJAZZ, Gryssel Ramirez, Justo Almario, Yasek Manzano and the Chords Quartet, Naat Berahman, Michel Herrera, Ernan Lopez-Nussa, Klimax, Orlando Sanchez, Bellita y Jazztumbata, Emilio Morales, William Roblejo, Alfred Thompson, Habana d' Primera, Mezcla, and more.

Havana Cuba dance music colorful street art celebration party jazz
Havana
Day 1

After clearing immigration and customs at the José Martí International Airport in Havana, you’ll take a short drive to the Meliá Cohiba hotel for check-in and a tour orientation*. This evening, we’ll celebrate your arrival over a welcome dinner. Get your first taste of jazz at the Jazz Festival's opening ceremony. 

Meals | Dinner 

*Check-in begins roughly at 3pm ET. The tour start time will vary slightly depending on flight arrivals. 

Jazz Cuban trombone music festival musician
Havana
Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, join a discussion about Cuban jazz, culture, and history with influential musician and musicologist, Alberto Faya. Then, we'll interact with young jazz musicians at one of Cuba’s top recording studios. We'll stop for lunch at a restaurant, famous for its secret chicken recipe before engaging with local musicians on the global influence of Cuban jazz. Tonight, we'll dine at a top-rated paladar before attending Jazz Festival performances.  

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 
callejon de hamel havana university central cuba mural car
Havana / Matanzas
Day 3

Early this morning, we depart for Matanzas, a small province east of Havana, where we'll meet directors and students at a local art school. Next, visit a book publisher that makes handmade paper and hand-bound books. After lunch at a paladar, the beat goes on with a lively exchange between members of Cuba’s famous folkloric dance group, Afrocuba de Matanzas. We'll return to Havana, where you'll enjoy dinner on your own. Tonight, we'll attend the Havana Jazz Festival performances.   

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Havana music dance guitar drum Cuba
Havana
Day 4

Start the day with a visit to a farmer's market for a glimpse into daily Cuban life. Then, it's a trip to the studio of renowned artist, Beatriz Cana, before a sabroso lunch. Continue building your musical know-how with an educational discussion with local musicians at a music venue. After dinner at the hotel, we'll attend two Havana Jazz Festival performances.   

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Jazz musicians music festival party celebration trombone flute instruments
Havana
Day 5

After breakfast, you'll visit the lively Callejon de Hamel, a hub of music and dance tucked away amid Havana's colorful streets. After, we'll visit a rum museum. After lunch, we'll enjoy a private jazz concert with area musicians. Then, we'll visit Finca Vigia, where Ernest Hemingway lived for 20 years and wrote some of his most famous works. Later, feel the rhythm with another Jazz Festival performance, and finish the day with a farewell dinner. This evening we'll attend the Havana Jazz Festival's acclaimed closing ceremony.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

A vintage car drives through the colorful streets of Old Havana, Cuba
Havana
Day 6

After breakfast, say adios to Cuba as you board your flight home. 

Meals | Breakfast

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. Due to the unique nature of our programming, each departure is custom designed and not every activity listed on this itinerary is always available. Please rest assured that our team in both Cuba and the U.S. take special care in planning each excursion and draws from almost two decades of experience, relationships, and activities to make each itinerary exceptional. Each tour provides a full-time schedule of educational people-to-people exchange activities and is fully compliant with U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations regarding travel to Cuba. These same regulations provide that guest participation on each tour is mandatory.

  • Five nights at the Meliá Cohiba Hotel in Havana

  • All meals while in Cuba, except for one evening paladar dining experience on your own

  • InsightCuba exclusive-guided programming

  • Expert Cuban guide

  • Private Cuban driver

  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events

  • VIP Festival Pass and entry to all Jazz Festival activities and performances

  • Fresh bottled water while touring

  • All in-country ground and festival transportation and via luxury motor coach*

  • Certification of travel to Cuba under the U.S. Department of the Treasury general license

  • InsightCuba travel guidebook

  • 24-hour emergency customer service hotline

  •  Gratuities for luggage handling, restaurant service, and programmed activities throughout tour**

  • Flight concierge service (flight cost additional) 

*Customary end-of-tour gratuities for the guides and staff are left to the guest’s discretion and should be based on your satisfaction with the level of service received.

Trip-cancellation coverage available for an additional fee through Allianz.

Not included: Airfare, Cuban visa, and airport transfers. Guests will transfer to and from the airport by taxi. 

Havana Jazz Festival
DateDouble Occupancy
(per person)
Cuban Visa
Jan 16 – Jan 21, 2019$4,295$99  

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: For single-occupancy pricing, add $600.

PREPAYMENT DISCOUNT: Pay in full at the time of booking and receive $200 OFF the full price! Must book 120 days in advance of the departure date. This may not be combined with any other promotions. Normal terms and conditions apply. 

GROUP RATES: 5% off land for groups of 5 - 9 guests. 10% off land for groups of 10 or more. Not combinable with any other offer, private departures, or custom-made tours. Will be applied at final payment.

Havana Jazz Festival

Once you have booked your tour, our flight concierge will gladly assist you with all your flight needs. Call us at 914-380-8303 or click here for an air quote. Please note that domestic and international flight costs are not included in your tour or travel package.  We advise arriving in Havana before 3:00pm to ensure participation in the Jazz Festival Opening Ceremony later that evening.

Please note that airport transfers are not included. You can easily take a taxi from the airport to the hotel costing CUC$25 (US$30) each way.

PURCHASING AIR ON YOUR OWN: You are welcome to book on your own, however please keep the following in mind:

Authorized airlines - Not all airlines are authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation to fly to and from Cuba. While this information may change, the currently authorized airlines are: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. Please contact the carrier for up to date flight schedules and routes.

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