Best Havana guide - Cuba Explorer Tours

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Best Havana guide - Cuba Explorer Tours
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lahabana.com
LA HABANA.COM is an independent platform, which seeks to showcase the best in Cuba arts &
culture, life-style, sport, travel and much more...
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videos, opinionated reviews, insightful articles and inside tips.
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editorial
So, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are coming to Cuba on March 21-22 to watch
baseball. At least they are scheduled to attend an exhibition match between The Tampa Bay Rays and
the Cuban National Team on Tuesday March 22. On Friday, the Rolling Stones are playing the final
leg of their Latin American tour in Havana at the Ciudad Deportiva.
Not so long ago, the preceding paragraph would be seen as a futuristic spoof of a very different
Havana. For this month, this is simply what’s on in the trendiest spot in the Caribbean. A famous
visitor, spot of baseball and some good music!
Obama’s will be the first sitting US president to visit Havana since Calvin Coolidge in 1928 and only
the second in the history between the two countries. Expect massive wall-to-wall international
coverage and a security presence that is likely to shut down Havana for the duration of his visit.
It is a mark of the sign of the times that last year at this time we were talking about Paris Hilton’s
entrance at the Habanos Cigar Festival, this year’s version now about to come to an end with the
Gala Dinner. My money for Secret Santa this year is on the Terminator.
This issue has as its main feature Cubanía, which may be loosely translated as the essence of being
Cuban. From dominoes to Guarapo, to the simple nature of playing on the streets of Cuba and
Havana’s latest style-cuts, being Cuban eludes too clear a definition, but we like it!
One day absolutely not to miss this month is Tuesday March 8, which is of course International
Women’s Day. This is taken very seriously in Cuba—flowers are an essential accessory.
Elsewhere March is a great month, winter seems to have ended, and it is safe to go back to the beach,
to lounge in the Caribbean sunshine. The Americans have definitely launched a tourist invasion
but they aren’t so bad really—just avoid the timing when the tour buses meet the cruise ships in Old
Havana!
New bars and restaurants continue to enliven the social scene in Havana and there is ample choice
of music and dance events at this time of year. Enjoy.
Abrazos! The LaHabana.com Team
About our new look
In January we introduced our new logo, look and feel. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s not a huge departure from
the original Cuba Absolutely logo. Rather, we’re staying close to our roots, whilst we position ourselves for an
expansion into the digital realm with LaHabana.com. We will continue to expand our monthly themes while
maintaining the popular “What’s On” section as an integral part of the Magazine. In the coming months, we will
bring online weekly updates on what to see and do in…La Habana. Please send us your feedback and comments.
Photo by Ana Lorena
march 2016
la Cubanía
Cubanía: the essence of being Cuban p7
Dominoes: a Cuban passion p9
Guarapo: The Cuban drink par excellence p12
The truth about Guayaberas (and some lies) p14
Playing on the streets of Cuba p17
Havana’s newest coiffures p20
The Cuban Guateque Guajiro p22
International
Women’s Day
Celebrating International Women’s Day in Cuba p25
Cuban Women: Body and Soul p28
In other News
Obama’s visit to Cuba: What will it bring? p31
Rolling Stones Coming to Havana? p38
Havana Listings
Visual Arts p32 — Photography p35 — Dance p36 —
Music p40 — Theatre p49 — For Kids p50
Havana Guide
Features - Restaurants - Bars & Clubs - Live Music Hotels - Private Accommodation p59
All about
Cubanía:
the essence of
being Cuban
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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7
Some people are often puzzled when asked “What is cubanía?” The question
often results in many to shrug or to give of a hackneyed response like “cubanía is
tobacco, music, rum, palm trees, roast pork and sugar cane.” More than 60 years
ago, the scholar Fernando Ortiz said that “cubanidad” is the generic condition of
Cuban people, and “cubanía” is full, heartfelt, conscious and desired cubanidad; a
responsible cubanidad with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.”
In 1939 Don Fernando Ortiz gave a lecture entitled
“The human factors of cubanidad” at the University
of Havana, and one year later it appeared in print
in the “Revista Bimestre Cubana”. Ever since then,
experts and dilettantes have given various opinions
about the subject of cubanidad and cubanía. Some
have been ludicrous, untrue, local, reductionist,
stereotypical, frozen in time or simply factors that
are common to any other group of people.
Ortiz, a scholar who has been rightly called
our third discoverer—right after Christopher
Columbus and Alexander von Humboldt—based
his opinion on the assurance that Cuba is not a
concept that is the same for everybody, not even
for the geographers, because this is an island
and also an archipelago. Although in its simplest
sense, cubanidad is the “quality of being Cuban,”
holding political citizenship or natural citizenship
because of having been born in this country are
not conditions enough for possessing cubanía.
Cubanía is an individual condition, one that is
constantly mutating. The most quoted expression
given by Ortiz in his lecture was that “Cuba is an
ajiaco (a stew or soup)” with an infinite diversity
of ingredients. But we tend to forget that he was
speaking of a cazuela abierta or pot without a lid,
a process like a stew that is constantly cooking, in
which feelings, ideas and actions associated with
it are being melded together. It doesn't matter
whether or not you have legal citizenship: you can
be born anywhere on this planet but acquire the
awareness of being Cuban, passionately desiring
this. That is enough to become, with grateful joy,
a human being endowed with cubanía. On the
other hand, you may be born here and not feel it
has been “an unnamed fiesta” and so, you wouldn't
even possess cubanidad.
lahabana
Such a sustained and fervent distinction offered
by the generic condition of being Cuban up to
the brim, even beyond anything felt, conscious
and wished for, defines cubanía. It is a matter of
a responsible sense of awareness and “homeland
roots” that emerge from below and from within
with the profound pride of mestizaje (a process of
cultural synthesis from different racial origins). In
a relatively small area like the island of Cuba and in
a relatively brief period of time, the most diverse
cross-currents and itineraries came together,
from all manner of origins and provenances, a
permanent transitoriness of farewells and adieus,
welcomes and receptions: We are proud to be one
of the most intermixed peoples on the planet.
There are those who have demonstrated their
cubanidad and cubanía by the recurrent use of
Cubanisms that can function as some external
aspect but can also be consciously used,
constituting traits of true authenticity. With his
tremendous linguistic sensibility, José Lezama
Lima used to amuse himself with countless voices
heard on the street and he would refute those who
labelled him as a “dark poet” by challenging them
to decipher the meaning of ampanga or tíbiritábara.
Before and after Ortiz, many have attempted to
define “the Cuban essence,” possibly an obsession
of colonial or semi-colonial “newcomers” during
several centuries who need to reaffirm their
endangered identity. But perhaps it was Lezama
himself, with the synthesis and ambiguity of poetry,
who offered us in one of his verses the essence
of that elusive, volatile, changing, personal and
non-transferrable condition: “Ah! so you escape
at the instant / when you have attained your best
definition.”
Cuba's Digital Destination
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8
Dominoes:
a Cuban passion
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
The game of dominoes is one of the pastimes that
best identifies the nature of Cubans. It covers
every inch of the island, providing the preferred
entertainment for its inhabitants. But the most
interesting aspect of this activity is what goes
on around the table where four players made up
of two pairs vie against each other with singular
fervor.
In official championships and in other regions of
the world, seven rectangular tiles numbered from 0
to 6 are distributed to each player thereby putting
28 tiles in play; they are shared by the two battling
pairs. But in Cuba, it is common practice to use ten
tiles per player since this game runs from 0 to 9,
with only forty of the fifty-five tiles in play. There
will always be fifteen that are excluded from the
proceedings and this adds greater mystery to the
contest when players are deciding how to make
their moves. When the tiles are stirred before
getting distributed, the Cubans have a special
name for this: darle agua al dominó.
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The game inspires the same passions in the large
cities like Havana and in the most remote rural
areas. Every location reflects the peoples’ habits
and cultural levels. Traditionally, years back,
campesinos used to include dominoes in their local
fiestas called guateques. That was very common in
the days when electricity hadn’t yet reached those
areas. In the main neighborhoods in Havana, it is
not unusual to see dominoes being played on front
porches, in parks and on the sidewalks.
Dominoes have spontaneously left their imprint
on popular Cuban expressions. Many sayings have
evolved into language that is used to describe dayto-day situations. Two examples of this are the
phrases viró con fichas [turned with the tiles] or se
trancó el juego [the game has been cut off]. The first
one refers to the fact that someone has suddenly
done or said something completely unexpected
and the second one describes how some situation
has ended without any possibility of going on.
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9
Playing dominoes provides an excellent excuse for
having a few shots of rum with friends, of exchanging
opinions on the political scene worldwide and the
latest gossip in the neighborhood in an informal,
pleasant manner. It is also great for getting
together with people you don’t get to see very
often and so demonstrate their friendship with
them. It’s true that for some people dominoes is
practically an addiction. They need to sit down at
the domino table day after day, very often staying
until the wee hours, finding it difficult to leave the
game.
Domino games are often surrounded by
nonparticipant hangers-on who turn into
impromptu game analysts. Since they are able
to see everyone’s tiles around the table, they
can criticize both the good and the bad moves
throughout the game.
Even though some players are bona fide
strategists, it is a fact that the game is essentially
unpredictable. Nobody ever has the last word
because luck is generally the determining factor
for the proceedings.
When families and groups of friends decide to
spend a few days at the beach during the holidays,
renting a house or going to a hotel on the coast,
dominoes are always on the what-to-bring list.
While you are waiting for a meal or at the end of
the day, it is a perfect way to spend some relaxing
moments.
Domino players fall into different categories. Their
behavior depends on their temperaments. Some
domino tables are rowdy and others are silent.
Some players throw down their tiles with a loud
“clack” and others place them on the table with
great delicacy. In Cuba you will hear it said that
the game was obviously invented by a mute person
since any comments uttered may provide clues or
useful information for your partner and that would
generally be to the disadvantage of the adversaries.
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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Another curious detail is the way Cubans have
been assigning names to the tiles over the years.
The tiles’ nicknames depend a lot on the players’
quick wits and imaginations. For example, putting
down a “1” is called puntilla or the blank tile is la
que hinca; zeros are referred to as Blanquizal de
Jaruco; threes are tres tristes tigres, fours are gato,
six is Ceiba de Agua and eights are Ochoa.
Dominoes in Cuba are so popular that they have
practically earned organized sport status with
the best of our players representing the country
at international competitions. Spontaneous
tournaments are born in the neighborhoods, the
initiative in most cases of the most enthusiastic
local players, and they spotlight an amazing array
of talent.
What can be more idiosyncratically Cuban than
dominoes?
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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Guarapo: The Cuban drink par excellence
by Victoria Alcalá
Although philologists can’t agree (no surprise
there!) about the origin of the word guarapo, and
the drink called by that name has been adjudicated
diverse origins going from Africa to ancient Rome
and passing through the Canary Islands, most
Cubans are convinced this is a typical product of
the Island.
Nevertheless, to the amazement of younger
Cubans, Esteban Pichardo in the mid-19th century
recorded the word guarapo in his Diccionario
provincial casi razonado de voces y frases cubanas
[ as originating in the indigenous language and he
defined it as a broth or liquid made from sugarcane
juice, extracted under pressure. Both the word
and the process are still around today after almost
two centuries.
We continue to drink guarapo in Cuba and
the method of extracting it from freshly-cut
sugarcane has not changed. Of course the 20th
century added chipped ice at a time when there
were an abundance of little stalls that would sell
a glass of sugarcane juice for just a few pennies.
The low price and the high calorie content made it
popular among the low-earners in the population.
Its power to refresh, especially with the addition
of some drops of lemon juice, and its pleasant
taste have kept it at the top of the list of drinks
preferred by Cubans, no matter what their social
origins are.
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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Even though it did not totally disappear during the
second half of the 20th century and there were
even some famous guarapo stands all over Cuba,
such as the one close to the baseball stadium in
Santa Clara, places selling the drink became rather
scarce until the boom in small private businesses
brought it back out onto the streets, especially
around the agro-markets and some organic
garden. It’s there that we have resuscitated the
sound of the trapiche or sugarcane press, the
incredible smell of crushed sugarcane and the
cries of protest of customers whenever they get
too much ice and too little guarapo in their glasses.
Perhaps the only defect this sugarcane nectar
possesses is that it cannot be conserved for a very
long time, and that means minutes. The sugarcane
juice has to be drunk practically instantly because
it tends to ferment rather quickly. It does get
consumed in some places in Mexico and Colombia
in its fermented state because of the alcoholic
content acquired, but in Cuba nobody dreams of
drinking it under such conditions. It has to come
straight out of the trapiche.
Forbidden to diabetics, restricted for those that
need to lose a few pounds, guarapo nonetheless
provides the necessary calories to fuel walking and
similar physical exercise. Not to mention that it is
a really tasty drink and just the perfect refresher
in our sweltering tropical heat. And if you want to
make it more exciting, just add rum!
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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The truth about Guayaberas (and some lies)
by Ciro Bianchi Ross
The Legend
They say that in 1709, a husband and wife from
Andalusia, Spain, José Pérez Rodríguez and
Encarnación Núñez García, arrived in the town of
Sancti Spíritus. One fine day they received a bolt
of linen from Spain and José asked Encarnación to
sew up some loose shirts from the cloth: he wanted
them to have long sleeves and large pockets and
he wanted them to be worn not tucked into the
trousers. His wife went to work and a few months
later those shirts were all the rage in that neck of
the woods.
This event has its detractors who assure us
that in that year regulations established by the
Real Compañía de Comercio [the Royal Trading
Company] to govern trade between the metropolis
and the colony prohibited such deliveries and,
besides, there wasn’t any communication in place
between Spain and Sancti Spíritus. In my opinion,
that prohibition is not so significant in the long
run since the Andalusians could have obtained the
package of cloth as smuggled goods, something
that was very fashionable those days. What is really
quite unbelievable is that such a purely domestic
occurrence would be recorded in history and with
such an abundance of details including the date, the
names of the protagonists, the clothing design…it
was as if it was tailor-made for future historians to
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be able to declare, without any shadow of a doubt,
that that was how the guayabera was born. It is
such a perfect story that it leaves us no alternative
other than to doubt its veracity. But it does mark
the beginning of the guayabera legend or, at least,
it sets the scene for that legend to take root.
Our guajiros (peasants) didn’t wear them in the
nineteenth century. The literature of that era
describes them wearing blue or striped shirts,
which were generally worn hanging outside of the
trousers. The permanent elements of their attire
were yarey hats made of palm leaf straw, machetes,
calfskin leather shoes and kerchiefs knotted
around their necks to soak up their perspiration.
Poor peasants usually wore chamarretas, a garment
with shirt-tails and narrow sleeves. It was the
chamaretta and not the guayabera that was worn
in the wars against Spain. In the Guerra Grande
[the Big War], the Liberation Army didn’t have any
uniforms. Mambis [the freedom fighters] wore
whatever they had available, either city or countrystyle garb. By the start of the War of Independence
in 1895, Martí mentions the chamaretta in his
Diary. Charito Bolaños was the woman who sewed
for the freedom fighters during the entire War
of Independence and Charito declared that she
never sent one single guayabera into the fray,
only chamarettas. María Elena Molinet, daughter
of one of the generals fighting for Independence,
Cuba's Digital Destination
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researched this matter from the ground up since
she was the head of costume design for films such
as Baraguá and La primera carga al machete and
she collected over 120 photographs of Mambis in
battle. Not one of them was wearing a guayabera.
All about that shirt
It is difficult to pin down the start and evolution
of any item of traditional popular clothing. As
for guayaberas, no other Cuban region disputes
their paternity—they agree it happened in the
town of Yayabo. The shirt was called a yayabera
and was essentially an early guayabera that went
out to invade neighboring areas….In 1866, Don
Nicolás Azcárate was elected in Güines to be their
delegate to the Junta de Información de Madrid
and the electors organized a party in honor of
the triumphant reformist politician. According to
Azcárate, peasants from all around came to the
festivity dressed in “classical guayaberas with
mother-of-pearl buttons and wearing Panama
hats.” The oldest pictorial representation of the
garment comes to us dated 1906. But the word
guayabera as a Cubanism does not gain legitimacy
until 1921 when Constantito Suárez included it in
his Vocabulario cubano.
It then jumped from Cuba over to the Yucatan
Peninsula. Upper class gentlemen from Yucatan
used to buy the shirts in Havana until after
1960 when they started to produce them in that
Mexican state and Merida became the world
guayabera capital until the Asians, with their
imitations manufactured in Japan and Taiwan,
wiped out the local industry. Cuban guayaberas
are nothing like the Philippine version, which has
no pockets and is worn with the neck buttoned up.
Throughout Central America, the guayabera gets
called Habanera.
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Guayaberas are descended from shirts, the most
ancient of all garments known to mankind. The
prestigious designer María Elena Molinet asks the
following questions: When did that shirt transform
into a guayabera? Who turned the pleats into
pintucks, reinforced the openings and edges and
made the three-pointed yoke in the front and the
back? She tells us: “The birth of the guayabera is
not the work of one single person and we still have
not determined at what moment it turned into
such an elegant, fresh, white, well-starched and
well-ironed item of clothing, a garment that could
be worn without a tie.”
A combination of the chamaretta and the peasant
guayabera, our current guayabera takes shape in
the 1920s, owing much to the work of shirtmakers
and seamstresses in Sancti Spíritus and Zaza del
Medio. In those days it was made out of khakicolored drill until the 1930s when linen began to
be used. In this new version, the garment became
popular in provincial cities but it had a difficult
time conquering Havana. Its use in the capital was
so limited that it could be practically said that it
wasn’t in use at all. You can’t see anyone wearing
them in movies or in press photos of the era and
the popular caricaturist Abela didn’t dress his
famous cartoon El Bobo in a guayabera.
With the fall of Machado (1933), customs underwent
a number of modifications. By the 1940s, guayaberas
became widespread and fashionable in Havana.
They were being worn more and more frequently
and were being complemented with bow ties.
When Dr. Ramón Grau San Martín (1944) became
President, the guayabera entered the Presidential
Palace. In contrast, his successor and disciple
Carlos Prío thought they were not the proper
thing to wear at protocol events and he banished
them from government activities. But guayaberas
Cuba's Digital Destination
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took over the display-windows of the best stores
and they conquered advertising. By then, the
capital was a giant warehouse of guayaberas
that threatened to replace any other style of
menswear, something that had no precedent in
history or tradition. It was so serious that it even
changed our lifestyle according to journalist Isabel
Fernández de Amado Blanco in 1948. In 1955, the
Administrative Division of the Supreme Court
passed a provision banning guayaberas from the
law courts. That was when a good pure Bramante
linen guayabera would cost as much as a cheap
suit. This is also when the guayabera showed up
in cheap versions, not made of linen, but cotton.
The design became simpler. It was no longer just
white, the sleeves weren’t always long and the
usual mother-of-pearl buttons were replaced by
ordinary ones.
The Revolution triumphed and guayaberas were
relegated to the background, disappearing from
the scene because some people considered they
represented a by-gone era of corrupt politicians.
The country was suffering from commercial
aggression, acts of sabotage, invasions and terrorist
acts, and there were shortages of everything
possible. Constant mobilizations were going on for
everything from factory work to military training.
The National Militia uniform seemed to fit the bill,
not just for the peoples’ army’s activities but for
any daily task, including attending ceremonies as
solemn as weddings or funerals. By the end of the
1970s, the guayabera made a timid reappearance.
It had long sleeves and tiny pleats but it wasn’t
linen—it was made of polyester and it came in
colors other than just white. It quickly became
inexpensive and young people saw it as the symbol
of the bureaucrat in action. Today it is undergoing
another renaissance.
Which one are we talking about?
The guayabera has four pockets and is decorated with rows of pintucks—two rows in front and three
on the back. At one time, the back yoke had a single point making it look like a triangle which, with the
three rows of tine pleats, resembled the Cuban flag. It was always white, long-sleeved and sported 27
buttons. It tapered slightly to the waist. As time went by, the back yoke had three points from which the
three rows of pleats took off and the 27 buttons remained. Today, the guayabera is fashioned in different
designs, materials and colors. There are embroidered versions and those done with the drawn-thread
technique; there are those with more or less pintucks and those with more or fewer buttons. But it is
still that same elegantly fresh garment. Cubanísima—100% Cuban.
(Extract taken from www.cubadebate.cu)
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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Playing
on the
streets
of Cuba
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
lahabana
Cuba's Digital Destination
page 17
Something I still very fondly remember from my
by-now distant childhood days is playing games
on the street. It’s a fact that this is a Cuban
characteristic and differentiates us from other
places; our streets are very colorful because they
are constantly being invaded by children and teens
playing all kinds of games. Perhaps this is very
closely linked to idiosyncrasies and traditions here
in Cuba.
In some cases, what we see as we visit different
neighborhoods in Havana and in provincial towns
are versions of sports that are very popular all over
the country. One that I am specifically referring
to is baseball, which has given birth to two of the
most played games on the Island’s streets: Cuatro
Esquinas and Juego del Taco.
Let’s look more closely into the mystery of
those Cuatro Esquinas or “four corners” that
have delighted so many generations of Cubans.
Generally, the game involves four players: one
defending first base, another playing second
base, yet another at third base and a fourth player
located between second and third. The basic rule is
to not bat between first and second base. Also, you
walk from home plate to first base. After getting
to first base, you can either run or walk—however
the players agree—and when players go backwards
from one base to another, they have to walk. The
offense always hits the ball with a closed fist.
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Cuatro Esquinas comes in different variations. I
used to like the version where you use a brick. A
piece of rubber of any size is put on top of it and
everything supports the ball which will be hit by
the player’s fist. The essence of the game is that
every time the ball hits any of the edges of the
sidewalk, the offense team gets a run. The playing
field is drawn out with chalk and homeruns happen
whenever the ball hits the wall at some determined
height and three runs are added on. Even though
this game is usually played by boys, sometimes
girls join in. At moments this game has been so
wildly popular that tournaments were organized
among Havana municipalities.
The Juego del Taco is just as popular, but it’s a
competition among pairs. You draw a square on a
wall to indicate the strike zone. Instead of a ball,
you usually use a small wooden block or a small
piece of rubber that gets hurled forcefully against
the wall in an attempt to strike out the batter.
The batter uses an improvised bat or any sort of
stick and when he overcomes the defense in the
safe zone, he gets a run. The winning team is the
one that reaches the number of runs that were
previously decided on.
In recent years, following the incredible boom of
TV soccer broadcasting in Cuba, the popularity
of both Cuatro Esquinas and Juego del Taco has
somewhat waned, giving way to a condensed
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version of soccer called Fútbol de
Tres, also played in the street. But I
think that this fad will run its course
like many others before it and our
beloved old street games will be back
in the front ranks again.
Surely the most interesting factor about
all these games is the creativity used to
adapt any given game so that it can take
over places that were originally designed
to accommodate pedestrians and vehicular
traffic. And they manage to survive at the
expense of daily urban mobility. Whenever
the improvised locations get reduced in size,
the rules automatically get adjusted to cope
with the setback.
It is also quite common to find improvised hoops
on our streets for unique basketball games.
And then other games such as Kimbe y Cuarta
get resuscitated from time to time. This game
is played with balls having different colors and
designs and large groups of kids can participate.
A similar game is Bailar el Trompo very often using
home-made balls. It’s very interesting to see how
the kids use codes and special language as part of the
competitions.
But playing in the streets is definitely here to stay.
The streets of Cuba are still a grand playground.
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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Havana’s newest coiffures
by Lucía Lamadrid
Gone are the days when hairstyle-wise, the most
complicated thing for men was deciding whether
to part their hair to one side or simply comb it
straight back. This is not to say that men were
unconcerned about the way they groomed their
hair. In the early 20th century, men throughout
the Western world copied Rudolph Valentino’s
perfectly greased-back hair, and in the 1950s,
James Dean and Elvis Presley made the Pompadour
fashionable. In the 1960’s, the Beatles popularized
the moptop, which was widely imitated worldwide
and would impact fashion globally.
Cuba is no exception to these fads. Nowadays, there
seems to be an explosion of new, “transgressive”
hairstyles for the boys. Just take a stroll around
Havana. Whether it’s the city’s historic center, the
Malecón or Miramar, you will find no shortage
of uncanny hairdos in the guys: the Magua; the
Tiburón; the Bistec; the Moñito (plain or cooked up
with the Magua or the Tiburón); the Dominicano;
the Machimbrao, the Mohicano… And the list goes
on and on.
Cuban lads are no longer satisfied with visiting
the barber once a month. They are now going to
beauty salons, previously considered women’s
exclusive domain. The Mohicano, or Mohawk, for
instance, is being pushed to extremes. Although
the sides are still shaved down, height and color
are being added to the old standard. lahabana
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But of this epidemic of (unfortunate?) haircuts,
perhaps the most common one of all is the Yonki,
which, alas, is all the rage in Havana. Popularized
by Cuban reggaeton star El Yonki, the hairstyle can
vary from person to person and basically leaves
more hair on the sides than a Mohawk and a bit
less height on top. The sides may sport drawings,
letters or symbols, depending on the customer’s
wishes—and the hairdresser’s ability.
These hairstyles and haircuts in guys (some
discrete, others visible a mile away) are sometimes
regarded with reluctance, especially by parents,
who simply can’t understand “the horrific haircut
the kid just got.” But one thing is for sure, though:
the streets of Havana are teeming with unique
hairstyles and, for better or worse, they seem to
be here to stay.
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The Cuban Guateque Guajiro
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
The Guateque Guajiro is what Cubans call a party
out in the countryside, originally a traditional
festivity for Cuban peasants. It occurs for a variety
of reasons such as birthdays, weddings, baptisms,
housewarmings, and the end of a harvest or the
start of sugar cane cutting. Many times it occurs
for no particular reason at all, just for the pleasure
of getting together and sharing good times with
friends and neighbors. Because of its contributions
towards forming the Cuban cultural identity, it
has earned itself a prominent place within the
institutions promoting Cuban artistic creations.
At the center of this country fiesta is what is
known as Punto Cubano or Punto Guajiro. This is
pure Cuban country music with deep Hispanic
roots. The main instrument in this genre is the
guitar in several varieties: the Spanish guitar, the
tres, the laús and the tiple. Other instruments
used belong to the percussion family: the clave,
the güiro and the guayo. Everything converges on
the main ingredient of Punto Cubano, that is, the
controversia or confrontation. Besides this, there
are solo artists and groups playing montuno songs
and improvisers who extoll the beauty of women
and nature.
This music has also inspired different dance styles
such as La caringa, El tumbantonio, and El papalote.
Some of these are quite noticeably erotic, with the
dance demonstrating the courting ritual.
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Celina Gónzalez and Reutilio
At guateques there are usually two competing sides,
showing off their talents in both song and dance,
and distinguishable by the different colors of their
neckerchiefs. Men generally wear guayaberas and
broad-brimmed hats woven from palm straw, the
famous sombreros de yarey, while the women are
decked out in lovely dresses with lots of flounces,
their hair flowing freely or put up with natural
flowers as decoration. In any case, the main color
in evidence for both men and women is white.
As we have just mentioned, the highlight tends
to be the confrontation among improvisers who
look for a controversial subject to be treated with
humor and a sharp wit, all the while trying to find
their adversary’s most evident weak spots. They
recite their verse in décimas that vary in their
rhythms depending on the region of the country.
These artists are called repentistas and the most
common tonadas and puntos they use are punto
libre, fijo and cruzado; there are also tonadas with
refrains, Punto Espirituano and the seguidilla.
Many repentistas travel all over the country and
a very stimulating interchange takes place among
the various local customs and traditions.
In the remote areas of the country the way in
which people travel to guateques can be rather
picturesque. Some are on horseback, often with
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Cuba's Digital Destination
page 23
other people sharing the ride, some arrive in
carriages, and others in tractor-pulled wagons or
ox-drawn carts.
The guateque has become a vignette that brings
together a number of typically Cuban traditions.
While the singing goes on, someone is always
roasting a pig on an open fire and there is usually
a group playing dominoes. A dish made with yucca
that has been marinated in a garlic-laden sauce,
often called the root vegetable of preference for
guateques, provides the finishing touch to the
roast pork.
I dare say that whoever goes to this festive event
will better understand some of the more spiritual
values of our culture and the most consistent
traditions born in the rural areas. This is the best
way to discover the characteristics of the folk who
live in the countryside. And it’s not just singing and
dancing that goes on; spoken narration and games
of skill are also distinct possibilities.
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The Guateque del Nengón a form of Son, has is roots
in Baracoa, Guantánamo Province, specifically in a
neighborhood called El Cuero where Candelario
Matos, who was a loyal singer of the genre, lived.
The El Nengón is believed to have been created
over 100 years ago and the musical instruments
were fashioned by the peasants themselves, like
the tumbandera, a kind of chordophone, and the
bunga, a drum made out of a hollow stick that is
covered with jutía or deer skins. For example,
the tres is made from rough boards or from the
wood of the crates cod are transported in, with
cedar necks and güira keys and steel strings. Such
original materials give the music a truly unique
sound.
In spite of the enormous changes our rural areas
have been undergoing, the Guateque Campesino
is alive and well. Younger generations have been
responsible for keeping it going, continuing
with the Punto Cubano and updating it so that it
maintains all the vitality it has had for so many
years in the Cuban countryside.
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Celebrating
International
Women’s Day in Cuba
by Victoria Alcalá
I’m decidedly one of those people who doesn’t like
celebrating International Women’s Day. By now I
don’t know anyone who remembers Clara Zetkin
on that day, not to mention the so many other
women who fought for our rights. Maybe some
feminists still remember. Perhaps the reason for
this is that Cuban women are guaranteed most of
those rights; we are the majority in the professions
(in some sectors such as mine it is an absolute
majority and that makes its rather boring!); some
of the forms of violence are generally relegated to
the privacy of the home or we simply are not aware
of them. Or maybe it is because the celebrations
get organized at work by men and certain subjects
are never mentioned.
I am constantly being amazed that on March 8
people come up to congratulate me on being a
woman. It’s a simple fact of genetics, a matter of
chromosomes (XX) and I had nothing to do with
it. Not by my intelligence or by any effort. I prefer
to celebrate my wedding anniversary because,
for better or worse, I was the one who chose my
husband and the day on which we were married.
But on that day our male workmates try hard,
bringing us flowers and cards, snacks (which in
many instances were prepared by their wives and
all they had to do was bring them to work) and
beverages, generally something sweet because
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“women don’t drink rum,” a belief that has caused
me to have certain doubts about my gender
identity. During such celebrations, there is a
tendency to see surprising transformations taking
place: the colleague who during the rest of the year
didn’t bat an eye to see you standing in the bus
burdened with mounds of papers you are taking
home to continue working, and who stared out the
window suddenly very interested in the sidewalk,
suddenly on THAT day he springs up to give you
his seat. And the guy who regularly cuts in ahead
of you in the cafeteria queue, claiming he has an
important meeting, now brings your plate, knife
and fork and glass to the table—maybe because, in
honor of women, all meetings have been called off.
Anyway, once a year doesn’t hurt anybody.
Meanwhile, we women allow ourselves to be loved.
We accept the cards with a kiss, we look for a
bottle or some container for that flower, we skimp
on lunch in anticipation of the afternoon feast (the
working day usually ends really early that day)
and we raise our glass to ourselves while looking
at the clock because we want to make use of the
extra afternoon time to get dinner ready since
husbands, sons and fathers are going to come
home exhausted from all the festivities they have
organized at their workplaces and so they won’t be
able to help us out in the kitchen. And the flowers?
Yeah, thanks.
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As I sift through the rice, it’s a good time to think. And now, yes indeed, it’s with a glass of rum, and I
mentally run through the professional results of most of my female colleagues, many of them honor
students at university, the trips to the doctor with the kids, helping our sons and daughters with Grade
Two math and spelling at the kitchen table or on the ironing board, the muffled pain and tears of
those women keeping households going while waiting for the husbands, sons, fathers and brothers
who fought at the Bay of Pigs or against the counterrevolutionaries in the Escambray, or in Ethiopia or
Angola…. I think of the women who begin their “second jobs” cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing
clothes, thinking of what they are going to wear tomorrow for their meeting with the Minister, of the
pile of papers they have to wade through, of the long-awaited finale for that doctorate thesis, of the
inventory in the shop that will wind up late at night, of the tests they still have to mark, of getting up
earlier to see that really ill patient before going to their offices… It could be the effect of the rum, but I’m
starting to feel like congratulating myself for being a woman and not perishing in the struggle.
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Cuban
Women:
Body and Soul
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
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page 28
Cuban women are not just legendary; they are a
beautiful reality that surrounds us, day by day. I
would define them as a delicious mixture of selfassuredness and sensuality, but they also have a
profoundly responsible and self-sacrificing side.
At times, they give the impression that there is
nothing impossible for them to accomplish, such
is their perseverance and their sense of optimism
that keeps them going.
A Cuban woman can dress elegantly, modestly or
provocatively. No matter what she shows on the
outside though, she gives the impression that
underneath it all she stores an infinity of secrets
and concerns. Her body seems to vibrate as it
comes into contact with her surroundings. She
has often been compared to a guitar that delights
us with its melodies. She always looks amazing
whether she is wearing a smock or a guayabera
because her gestures and how she carries herself
combine exceptionally well with the simplicity of
these garments.
Have you noticed how Cuban women always add
a bit of spice to fashions originating in other
countries? This gives their style a unique look,
something we could call “tropicalization.” Those
women who have more pronounced curves tend
to wear the most striking figure-hugging fashions,
inevitably attracting appreciative exclamations
from their admirers.
Whether they are at home or abroad, Cuban
women stand out for their somewhat provocative
way of walking. It seems to be totally spontaneous
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and uninhibited, as natural as breathing. Anyone
walking behind a Cuban woman on the street could
easily compare the experience to watching the
rhythm of a rumba or the sinuous flow of honey.
And when they give us the gift of a splendid smile,
there is nothing that can compare.
Another characteristic of our Cuban women is
their spiritual side, including their great gifts of
communication. Talking with a Cuban woman may
be enlightening. Add to this that over 60 percent
of the Cuban workforce lies in women.
When we talk about Cuban women in general, we
run the risk of forgetting that one of their most
attractive qualities is how different they are from
each other. It is not just a matter of the color of
their skin but also because of how they act. From
blonde to dark-skinned beauties, through all
the varieties of what Cubans call “mulattas,” the
palette is never-ending. Add to that the range in
temperament, from serious to fun-loving.
In Cuba, women have provided a rich source of
inspiration for artists in all the media. Composers
have penned songs immortalizing women and
their special qualities starting with Trova authors
who entitled their pieces with names of women,
like “Guarina” and “Ferminia” by Sindo Garay, and
“Mercedes,” “Aurora,” “Santa Cecilia” and the most
popular one of all, “Longina” by Manuel Corona.
When the Nueva Trova appeared decades later,
the same thing happened and songs such as Pablo
Milanes’ “Yolanda” and “Sandra” became part of
our national songbook.
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Recent dance music keeps on singing the praises
of women. I only need to mention Juan Formell’s
“Marilú” to find one such example. And the cinema
has also used the image of Cuban women as subject
matter. The films Cecilia Valdés, Lucía and Amada
immediately come to mind.
In painting there has been one famous
representation of Cuban femininity, perhaps
the most popular image every produced on the
Island: La Gitana Tropical (The Tropical Gypsy)
by Víctor Manuel. It forever symbolizes the face
and attitude of Cuban women and it can now be
found reproduced on posters, umbrellas and cups
everywhere. The theater, dance and literature have
all had a hand in spotlighting the unique spirit of
Cuban women.
It has been said that Cuban women these days attain
“a certain age” with special élan and pride. These
women are protected in many ways and so they
have the luxury of being more relaxed, chatting
about what can be found in the market, their
grandchildren’s graduations and how crazy the
house becomes during vacations when everyone
gets together. They also have many opportunities
and rights to continue their formal education,
expand their cultural horizons and partake in
regular exercise programs for the benefit of both
body and mind. Cuba is indeed very proud of its
women.
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Obama’s visit to Cuba: What will it bring?
by Victoria Alcalá
Who would have thought it? Obama is finally
coming! As elegant and inscrutable as always,
Josefina Vidal, General Director for the United
States at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba,
announced the news a few days ago, giving rise
to a barrage of viewpoints. There are those who
have taken their stars-and-stripes banners out of
mothballs fervently hoping that the day after the
visit on March 21st prices will drop at the market
and there will be three times the number of buses
on the streets. And there are others who look upon
it as a betrayal of their principles and so many
years of resistance, completely forgetting that
Obama isn’t going to land in a gunboat like Calvin
Coolidge did in 1928. But in my opinion, I think
that most Cubans see it in a positive light without
harboring too many expectations regarding their
ofttimes very complicated daily lives.
I have to admit that when I saw Ms Vidal giving us
the news, a phrase came to mind that was uttered
by Laocoön in Virgil’s Aeneid. My beloved Latin
teacher, Calixta Peraza, loved to repeat it whenever
we would bring her some presents on Teachers’
Day: Timeō Danaõs et dõna ferentõs” (I fear the
Danaans, even when bearing gifts), which has been
paraphrased in English as the proverb “Beware of
Greeks bearing gifts.” Anyone reviewing the bleak
history of US relations with Cuba over the course
of three centuries and remembering Laocoön’s
words of warning about the Trojan horse when he
saw it will understand my suspicion.
Nevertheless, I prefer to drift towards optimism
and I’d rather like to imagine that President
Obama ,who was born in Hawaii and lived for years
in Indonesia, would be able to feel some sense of
identification with Third World island nations,
such as Cuba, and that being an African-American,
he would have an inclination to sympathize with
peoples that are “different.” In other words, I
like to think he would remember his compatriot
Brigadier General of the Liberation Army Henry
Reeve, falling in combat within the ranks of Cubans
fighting for liberation from Spanish colonialism
in the nineteenth century. Or that he would
remember Ernest Hemingway who loved Cuba
tremendously, even though, I suspect, he didn’t
understand it so well. Or that he would at least
honor his much-debated Nobel Peace Prize and lay
the foundations for civilized coexistence between
the richest country in the world and the small
rebellious island neighbor which paradoxically has
never been anti-US.
With so many illustrious visitors lately, from Katy
Perry to President François Hollande, from Mick
Jagger to Princess Caroline of Monaco, from Paris
Hilton to Pope Francis, from ZZ Top to Patriarch
Cyril, we Cubans are getting used to the glamour
and to the adjective “historical” with which the
press tends to describe every visit. Hopefully, the
US President, who is so concerned about our wellbeing, will go on to dismantle the blockade—or
embargo as they like to call it—at least to the extent
of his prerogative along with its intricate maze of
prohibitions, and that during his visit here he will
be able to have genuine contact with Cubans “on
the street.” Hopefully, those will be the voices he
will listen to the most. To tell the truth, personally
I prefer to think about the announced but notyet-confirmed Rolling Stones performance. I have
already taken my long flowery Indian skirt out of
mothballs in anticipation of that event…
Visual Arts
photos by Alex Mene
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
Edificio de Arte Cubano
Contaminación
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Edificio de Arte Cubano
Through
June 19
Los rostros de la modernidad. The entry of Cuban visual arts in the modernity of the avantgarde and its various trends can be seen in 45 photos made from 1925 to 1957 by 15 importants
photographers, including Jorge Arche, Arístides Fernández, Víctor Manuel, Wifredo Lam,
Amelia Peláez and Mariano Rodríguez.
Through
June 1
Solo exhibition by Carlos Alberto García, who describes his work as abstract, highly influenced
by Expressionism.
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam
Opens
February 16
Opens
February 16
La madre de todas las artes is an
exhibition by over 50 artists, such
as Lidzie Alviza, Luis Enrique
Camejo, Los Carpinteros, Ernesto
García Peña, Arturo Montoto,
Mabel Poblet, Wilfredo Prieto
and Sandra Ramos, whose central
theme is the interest shown by
a significant number of Cuban
artists in architecture.
Base/Superestructura, which won
the artist Lázaro Saavedra the 2014
Visual Arts National Award.
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Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Through May
La Vasija 2015 is an exhibition of
vessels, tiles, panels and murals
presented in competition. They
praise the origins of ceramics,
whose roots lie in vessels, but
these contemporary artists give
them a completely new twist.
Centro Cultural Fresa y Chocolate
Through
March 13
Cuba's Digital Destination
Isla Negra-Isla Verde, a group
exhibition paying tribute to Pablo
Neruda.
page 32
photos by Ana Lorena
Factoria Habana
Factoría Habana
Throughout
March
Signos. Arte e industria y viceversa, which has been conceived as an installation that brings
together objects, texts, artefacts, photos, ceramics, graphic works, video and printed
materials, aims at emphasizing creative experiences in which a balanced fusion between art,
design and industry, and elements of the urban and architectural environment takes place
through the works of Carlos José Alfonzo, Juan Carlos Alom, Félix Beltrán, Alberto J. Carol,
Gonzalo Córdoba, María Victoria Caignet, EMPROVA, Cirenaica Moreira, Miguel Díaz, Felipe
Dulzaides, Leandro Feal, Mario Gallardo, Mario García Joya (Mayito), Carmelo González,
Roberto Gottardi, Arturo Infante y Renier Quert, Nicolás Guillén Landrián, Roberto Matta,
Ernesto Oroza, Amelia Peláez, Manuel Piña, René Portocarrero, Idelfonso Ramos, Leyden
Rodríguez, Mariano Rodríguez, Humberto Solás y Héctor Veitía, Lesbia Vent Dumois, as well
as the projects Ediciones en Colores, TELARTE, Arte en la Fábrica, Arte en la Carretera and
Arte en el Muro.
Casa de la Obrapía
Opens
march 17
Galería Espacio Abierto
Ethos-Sociedad consumista que
me consumes, exhibition by Eurico
Borges.
Through
March 11
Galería Artis 718
Throughout
March
Save mucho is a collection of
works by Carlos Quintana who
uses books as a unifying element.
Galería Galiano
Galería Casa 8
Through
March 10
Tesauro R y C is a collection
of works by Servando Cabrera
Moreno, Sandu Darie, Roberto
Diago,
Antonia
Eiriz,
Raúl
Martínez, Manuel Mendive, Pedro
y Rolando de Oraá, Zaida del Río y
Mariano Rodríguez, among other
Cuban artists.
El blanco más oscuro, group
show of painting and staged
photography, diverse in terms of
themes, technoiiques and media,
although structured from the
combination of black and white in
works by Raúl C. Camacho (Memo),
Reinaldo Cid, Erick Coll, Eduardo
Llanes, Jorge López Pardo, Frank
Martínez y R10, among others.
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Through
April 9
Los renegados. A manifestation not
often seen in Cuban art shows:
sculpture, is the focus of this solo
exhibition by Pedro Luis Cuellar,
who also exhibits drawings that
have inspired some of his pieces.
Restaurante Fabio
Through
April 14
Cuba's Digital Destination
Entre signos pictóricos is an
exhibition by Carlos René Aguilera
and Alejandro Barreras.
page 33
Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales
Through
March 15
Libro de horas, group show that
uses diverse media and techniques,
and reflects, from a contemporary
point of view, on the illuminated
manuscripts of the Middle Ages.
Through
March 19
Lecciones de manualidad, solo
show by Yonel Hidalgo Pérez,
a project for the EsterioStudio
Scholarship, promoted by the
artist Esterio Segura.
Galería Galiano
Through
March 25
Nice to Meet You, show by Kelvin
López and Harry Naar, who use
landscapes to make comments
on social issues, reorganize
environmental perception and
redefine cultural models.
Through
March 23
Throughout
March
Jugar en serio: Pintura expandida,
group show, Estudio Curator
Scholarship 21, of works by Pavel
Acosta, Adriana Arronte, David
Beltrán, Yonlay Cabrera, Elizabet
Cerviño, Adonis Ferro, Dunieski
García, Ernesto García Sánchez,
Glenda León, Yornel Martínez,
Rodolfo Peraza and Nestor Siré.
Digital Moments, experimental
photography and video by cubans
in the diaspora, Raíces y Rutas
Project.
Palacio de Lombillo
Opens
March 11
Secuencia, exhibit by the young
artist Robin Pau, which based
on the cinema, strengthens the
narrative capacity of painting by
means of images that seem to stop
motion.
Lloyd’s Register
Through
March 19
Through
March 20
Mambises, a la carga, exhibits
paintings and drawings by Leonel
López-Nussa, a very interesting
20th-century artist, who has been
somewhat forgotten in our days.
Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana
Through
March 15
Bocetos de Zanelli para el Capitolio
Nacional. The exhibition includes
the 10 original sketches sculpted
in plaster by the Italian master
Angelo Zanelli in 1929, made
especially for the sculptures and
main portico of the Capitolio
Building. It includes the great
statue of The Republic; the two
titans flanking the steps, Work
and Virtue; and the seven friezes
of the central portico, allegorical
to the march of the Cuban people
for freedom and democracy.
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Kronos,
solo
exhibition
by
Niels Reyes. According to critic
Píter Ortega, “the artist works
traditional
genres…revitalizing
them to show their legitimacy in
our historic present.”
Memorial José Martí
Palacio del Segundo Cabo
Through
March 31
Lineup reflects almost a century
of Cuban drawing from the first
avant-garde to the present day,
from the most traditional to the
most
experimental,
through
the work of 40 artists, including
Víctor Manuel, Fidelio Ponce,
Wifredo Lam, Mariano Rodríguez,
René Portocarrero, Jorge Rigol,
Servando Cabrera Moreno, Raúl
Martínez, Raúl Milián, Roberto
Fabelo, José Bedia, Eduardo
Ponjuán, Ricardo Rodríguez Brey,
Antonio Eligio (Tonel), Gustavo
Pérez Monzón, Santiago Rodríguez
Olazabal,
Kcho,
Alexander
Arrechea, René Francisco, Glauber
Ballesteros, Yornel Martínez and
Rafael Villares, among others.
Cuba's Digital Destination
Homo Pinocho, group show by
37 artistas graphic artists, who
have focused their work on the
unforgettable fictional character,
Pinocchio.
page 34
photography
Fototeca de Cuba
Through March 11
El puente, exhibition by Carlos Fernández Vega and Rene Rodríguez.
Through March 19
El viaje, by Rigoberto Oquendo (Chacho), who has focused his work on the representation of Cuban family homes.
Casa Benito Juárez
Opens
March 16
Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Sin mucho rodeo, by photographers
Lourdes Bermúdez Trimiño and
Sonia Mirabal Gómez
Through
March 18
Museo Casa Natal de José Martí
Throughout
March
De Martí a Fidel, de Dos Ríos
al Moncada, Hasta la Victoria
Siempre. Julio Larramendi exhibits
photographs of monuments and
sites from all over Cuba related to
José Martí.
Exhibit by Dominican photographer
Wilfredo García. On March 18, Liset
Valderrama, visual arts specialist
from the City Historian’s Office;
Nahela Hechavarría, from the Casa
de las Américas Art Department;
and Kirenia Rodríguez Puerto,
Professor of Faculty of Arts
and Letters of the University of
Havana, will lecture on 20thcentury Caribbean photography,
focusing on the work of Wilfredo
García.
Sala de la Diversidad
Opens
March 4
Río Toa, Amazonía cubana, exhibits
pictures of landscapes, animals
and plants taken by members
of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez
Foundation during an expedition
down the Toa River.
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page 35
dance
Alas
Ballet Lizt Alfonso
March 4 & 5, 8:30pm; March 6, 5pm
Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso
Alas, a hymn to the spirituality of humankind.
Rosalía de Castro
Company/School
March 6, 11 am
Teatro Nacional
A selection of Spanish dances by the students and
the dancers.
Le Corsaire
Ballet Laura Alonso
March 11 & 12, 8:30pm; March 13, 5pm
Teatro Nacional
Famous for its extremely difficult pas de deux, the
performance of the complete ballet Le Corsaire, in
two acts and four scenes, is uncommon in Cuba.
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Cuba's Digital Destination
page 36
dance
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
in Concert
March 18 & 19, 8:30pm; March 20, 5pm
Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso
Dionaea, choreographed by Gustavo Herrera
and music by Heitor Villa- Lobos; Celeste,
choreographed by Annabelle López Ochoa and
music by Tchaikovsky; Grand pas de Paquita,
choreographed by Marius Petipa and music by
Minkus.
D Rocío Company
March 18 & 19, 8:30pm; March 20, 5pm
Teatro Nacional
Performance by the flamenco-fusion D Rocío
Dance Company.
La danza y sus estilos
March 19, 5pm
Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Concert program by the Rosario Cárdenas and
Laura Alonso dance companies.
Ciudad de Guantanamo
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Are the Rolling Stones Coming to Havana?
by Victoria Alcalá
Every time all of us who went to the same high
school get together, the question rears its ugly
head. Nobody needs to say any more because it’s
clear that we are all referring to the announced
but as yet unconfirmed visit of the Rolling Stones
to Havana during this month of March, 2016. The
rumor spread like wildfire during Mick Jagger’s
stay in the capital last October.
surely going to go with us, not so much because
they love the Stones but to have a fleeting glimpse
of what their parents and grandparents were like
at their age.
The confirmed pessimists remind us of the
naysayers: “I read in the Granma newspaper
that discussions were ongoing but nothing is yet
definitive” and they even quote authorities on
the subject: “Mayito Masvidal said they weren’t
coming.” The optimists are steadfastly basing their
opinions on trustworthy sources: “The Herald
has already confirmed that they’ll be here at the
same time as Obama” and they have even become
analysts of information that has filtered down to
them from God-knows-what source: “Haven’t you
seen how quickly they’re sprucing up the Latin
American Stadium?” The women go straight to
more practical matters: “Do you think I can still
wear that blouse?” “Would you lend me your
flowered vest?” “What do you think if we paint the
peace symbol on our faces?”
This anticipation has lifted years and pains from
our bodies and minds and we’ve even started
practicing some dance steps so as not to look too
ridiculous to our kids and grandchildren who are
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Cuba's Digital Destination
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We used to take pictures of our kids sitting
beside John Lennon in the Vedado park and
thank goodness they don’t understand the deep,
hidden meaning involved in all that enthusiasm.
They missed the whole Beatles-Rolling StonesCreedence-Led
Zepplin-Eagles-Chicago
Era.
Those bands and many others like them were seen
as the height of “enemy ideological penetration”
and we were only able to listen to them in versions
recorded by mediocre Spanish groups or in the
version of some Mexican singer whose name I’d
rather not remember.
In those days, long hair and necklaces made of
seeds made fashionable by Fidel Castro’s “barbudos”
(bearded rebels) were frowned upon and on some
occasions repressed with, shall we say, not a whole
lot of courtesy. English was fine if you learned it at
school, but you couldn’t sing it; “Make love and not
war” was a “counterrevolutionary motto” because
it went contrary to the guerrillas; drawing the
peace symbol in a school notebook was worse than
drawing the swastika; free love was synonymous
to licentiousness and we were constantly being
admonished about how most of our Rock idols
were drug addicts. Ironically, some of our Cuban
musicians who were being promoted to provide a
replacement for the British and American singers
were suspected of smoking a marijuana cigarette
from time to time (hush-hush of course) but then
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they were perhaps being backed by the popular
slogan that said: “Consuming our country’s
products is patriotic.”
Luckily, there was always someone who was able
to circulate some record or we were able to get
WQAM on the radio relatively easily, at least in
Havana, and we had some local bands that would
reproduce the Anglo-Saxon hits with greater or
lesser accuracy. This kept us company during our
teen years, and we didn’t become ideologically
perverted, nor did we prostitute ourselves or sink
into the murky depths of drug addiction.
But we were left with the frustration of never
having seen our favorite bands on TV, much less
at a live concert. Funny thing: for a long time I
was convinced Creedence was made up of black
singers! And so when all that anti-Rock paranoia
fell apart, we celebrated the arrival of Air Supply in
Havana as a triumph, we sat down beside Lennon
in his park to chat and we are convinced that yes,
Sir Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger is going to bring us
the Stones and we are going to sing along with him
to the explosive “Satisfaction” and “Let's Spend
the Night Together” and we are going to exhibit
that symbol which represents the cry of so many
hurting human beings in the world today: Peace
and Love.
Cuba's Digital Destination
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MUSIC
Contemporary
Fusion
X Alfonso
Photo Alex Mene
The contemporary fusion and electronic music
scene has expanded recently as new bars and clubs
have opened party promoters have organized
events in parks and public spaces. Good live music
venues include Bertolt Brecht (Wed: Interactivo,
Sunday: Déjá-vu) and El Sauce (check out the
Sunday afternoon Máquina de la Melancolía) as
well as the newly opened Fábrica de Arte Cubano
which has concerts most nights Thursday through
Sunday as well as impromptu smaller performances
inside.
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In Havana’s burgeoning entertainment district
along First Avenue from the Karl Marx theatre to
the aquarium you are spoilt for choice with the
always popular Don Cangreco featuring good live
music (Kelvis Ochoas and David Torrens alternate
Fridays), Las Piedras (insanely busy from 3am) and
El Palio and Melem bar—both featuring different
singers and acts in smaller more intimate venues.
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MUSIC
Contemporary
Fusion
Major Lazer in Concert
March 6, 7pm
Tribuna Antimperialista
The electronic dancehall music project, Major Lazer, will be the first show by a major American act to
take place in Cuba since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic ties.
“For as long as I can remember, Cuba has played an influential role on my love of music—Cuba has such
a powerful cultural impact all over the world and for me, especially growing up in Florida, it became
one of the biggest cultural centers for music to evolve from,” said Diplo in a press release. Going back
to perform in 2016 and to be a part of the culture once again is a huge blessing and I couldn’t be more
honored to bring the Major Lazer project there.”
During their visit, the band—made up by Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire, will meet with Cuban music
students and young, local DJs that will share the stage with the group. The group could also perform at
Fábrica de Arte Cubano, a venue that has become an almost obligatory stop for international musicians
who have travelled to Cuba in the last few months.
Gala Cuerda Viva
Saturday, Mar 12, 8:30pm; Sunday, Mar 13, 5pm
Teatro Karl Marx
Don’t miss the annual Cuerda Viva Festival, the
best in Cuban alternative music. The evnt will be
dedicated to super star musician Edesio Alejandro
and the rock-folk band Síntesis.
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MUSIC
Contemporary
Fusion
Los Ángeles
Photo Alex Mene
Balneario Universitario El Coral
Fridays &
Saturdays
1pm-1am
Submarino Amarillo
Electronic music with rapping,
DJing,
Vjing,
Dj-producers,
breakdancing
and
graffiti
writing, among other urban art
expressions.
Café Concert El Sauce / 5 pm
Sundays
March 10
La Máquina de la Melancolía, with
Frank Delgado and Luis Alberto
García
Rosbhel & EclipC de Luna
Tercera y 8
Mondays
11 pm
Mondays
9pm
Miel con Limón
Havana Hard Rock / 6 pm
Every other
Friday
Soul Train, a show of soul music
Sat & Sun
Rock cover bands
Diablo Tun Tun
Saturdays
11 pm
Gens
Salón Rosado de La Tropical
Baby Lores
Fridays
9 pm
Electronic music with Sarao,
Barbaram Pepito’s Bar / 5 pm
Tuesdays
Los Francos
Wednesdays
Grupo Kialo
Sundays
Discoteca Onda Retro
Casa de la Amistad
Sundays
5 pm
En Guayabera
Centro Cultural Bertolt Brecht / 11 pm
Tuesdays
Roberto Fonseca
Wednesdays
Interactivo
Saturdays
David Blanco
Wednesdays
10:30 pm
Hip-Hop Night
Café Cantante, Teatro Nacional / 5 pm
Gato Tuerto
Saturdays
10 pm
Rock ’n’ Roll with Vieja Escuela.
Tuesdays
Raúl Paz
Wednesdays
Qva Libre
Tenor Bernardo Lichilín and DJ
Eddy Sánchez
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page 42
Photo by Alex Mene
Photo Alex Mene
Salsa / Timba
Casa de la Música de Miramar
Casa de la Música Habana
Mondays
5 pm
Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor
11 pm
Sur Caribe
Tuesdays
11 pm
Pedrito Calvo y La Nueva Justicia
Fridays
11 pm
José Luis Cortés y NG La Banda
Saturdays
5 pm
Christian y Rey
Sundays
5 pm
Bamboleo
Sundays
5 pm
Pupy y Los que Son Son
Jardines del 1830
Fridays
10 pm
Azúcar Negra
Sundays
10 pm
Grupo Moncada
Wednesdays
11 pm
Juan Guillermo
Alain Daniel
Casa de 18 / 8 pm
Café Cantante. Teatro Nacional
Mondays
11 pm
José Luis Cortés y NG La Banda
Tercera y 8
Salón Rojo del Hotel Capri
Sundays
11 pm
Wednesdays
11 pm
Manana Club
Fridays
Iván y Fiebre Latina
Saturdays
Ahí Namá
Le Select
Carpa Trompoloco
Fridays
6 ppm
Popular dance music hosted by
Blanca Rosa Blanco
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Fridays
5 pm
Cuba's Digital Destination
Grupo Moncada
page 43
MUSIC
JAZZ
Jazz Café
Calle 88A No. 306 e/ 3ra y 3ra A,
Miramar. +53 (07) 209-2719
Mellow, sophisticated and freezing due to extreme
air conditioning, the Jazz Café is not only an
excellent place to hear some of Cuba’s top jazz
musicians, but the open-plan design also provides
for a good bar atmosphere if you want to chat.
Less intimate than La Zorra y el Cuervo – located
opposite Melia Cohiba Hotel.
Café Jazz Miramar
Shows: 11 pm - 2am
This new jazz club has quickly established itself as
one of the very best places to hear some of Cuba’s
best musicians jamming. Forget about smoke filled
lounges, this is clean, bright—take the fags outside.
While it is difficult to get the exact schedule and in
any case expect a high level of improvisation when
it is good it is very good. A full house is something
of a mixed house since on occasion you will feel
like holding up your own silence please sign!
Nonetheless it gets the thumbs up from us.
UNEAC
March 10
5 pm
Jardines del Teatro Mella
Peña La Esquina del Jazz hosted by
showman Bobby Carcassés.
Café Miramar
Wednesday
8 pm
Zule Guerra (singer) & Blues D’ La
Habana
Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Mondays
4 pm
Lunes de la Juventud
Tuesdays
10 pm
Casabe World Music
Saturdays
10 pm
César López (saxophonist) and
Havana Ensemble
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March 8
6 pm
Eduardo Sandoval y su quinteto
Museo Nacional de Bellas
Artes. Edificio de Arte Cubano
March 5
7 pm
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Natural Trio
page 44
MUSIC Bolero, folklore, son & trova
Asociación Yoruba de Cuba
Diablo Tun Tun / 5 pm
Fridays
8:30 pm
Obbiní Batá(folkloric group
Saturdays
4 pm
Los Ibellis (folkloric group)
Saturdays
Elaín Morales
Waldo Mendoza
Café Teatro Bertolt Brecht
March 26
4 pm
Orly Núñez
Mondays
Son del Nene
Tuesdays
Conjunto Chappottín
Wednesdays
Trova
Thursdays
Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez
Fridays
Rumberos de Cuba
Sundays
Rumba
Hotel Telégrafo
Fridays
9:30 pm
March
5 4
November
4 pm
Eduardo
Obbiní
Batá
Sosa
and Síntesis
March 12
3 pm
Cheketé, with the folkloric group
Obiní Batá
Casona de Línea
Sundays
8 pm
Sundays
Rafael Espín and guests
Casa de África
8 pm
Trova with Ray Fernández
El Jelengue de Areíto / 5 pm
Café Cantante, Teatro Nacional / 5 pm
Thursdays
Thursdays
Ivette Cepeda.
Hurón Azul, UNEAC
Saturdays
9 pm
Bolero Night
Pabellón Cuba / 4 pm
Trova
Casa del Alba
March 10
4 pm / Annie Garcés
March 18
6 pm / Gerardo Alfonso
March 24
6 pm / Vicente Feliú and guests
Fridays
Tres Tazas with trovador Silvio
Alejandro
Saturdays
Participo with
Carlos Pérez
trovador
Juan
Casa de la Música Miramar
Thursdays
5 pm
Soneros de la Juventud
Delirio Habanero / 10 pm
Thursdays
Abel Maceo y Buena Vida
Fridays
Son en Klab
Saturdays
Sonyku
Sundays
5 pm
Argelia Fragoso
March 5
3pm / Duo Ad Libitum
March 27
5pm / El Jardín de la Gorda with
trovadors from every generation.
Gato Tuerto
Fridays
5 pm
La Hora Infiel, with music, visual
arts, literature and more.
Casa de la Cultura de Plaza
March 27
3 pm
El Rumbón de Los Papines
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Yoruba Andabo
Centro Iberoamericano de la Décima
Museo de Artes Decorativas
March 2
5 pm
Casa de la Música Habana
Diablo Tun Tun
Thursdays
5pm / Trova with Ray Fernández
Sundays
5pm / Orly Núñez
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classical MUSIC
Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís / 6 pm
March 5
The Ventus Habana Quintet, along with guests National Art School Women’s Band, the
National Concert Band, Vocal Universo, the Ébanos de La Habana and Vivace quartets, and
the Tekla Trio, will play pieces by Paquito de Rivera, Astor Piazzolla, Rafael Hernández, María
Grever, Miriela Mijares and Ernesto Lecuona, among others.
March 12
Homenaje a Alejandro García Caturla, by saxophonist and clarinetist Javier Zalba, pianist
María del Henar Navarro, the Promúsica Duo and others.
March 19
The Amadeo Roldán Quartet, made up by Leonardo Pérez (violin and director), William
Roblejo (violin), Yenet Aguillón (viola) and Lester Monier (cello), will play works by Franz
Joseph Haydn, Leo Brouwer, Leonardo Pérez and William Roblejo.
March 26
The Camerata Romeu and Solistas de La Habana have selected works by Barber, Tchaikovsky
and Dvořák for this performance.
Biblioteca Nacional José Martí
Saturdays
4 pm
Concerts by chamber soloists and ensembles.
Casa del ALBA Cultural
March 6
Concert with Ensamble de Vientos Nueva Camerata
March 13
En Confluencia, conducted by guitarists Eduardo and Galy Martín.
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page 47
Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura / 5 pm
March 5
Concert by the HabanaMartin chamber orchestra and guests.
March 12
Performance by the contemporary music instrumental group Nuestro Tiempo, conducted by
Enrique Pérez Mesa, resident conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra.
March 15
Graduation concert of clarinetist Mario Rodríguez, along with the Ébanos de La Habana
Ensemble.
Casa Victor Hugo
March 25
5 am
Duo Cáliz, made up by Luis Manuel Molina (guitar) and Vicente Monterry (clarinet).
Oratorio San Felipe Neri / 4 pm
March 5
The ISA Symphony Orchestra will play works by Cuban composer for the first time.
February 6
Recital by pianist Fidel Leal, with a program that includes Diez bocetos para piano by Cuban
composer Leo Brouwer.
February 8-11
Performance by the Walsall College Chorus from the US along with Cuban choral ensembles.
Sala Avellaneda. Teatro Nacional
March 6
8:30 pm
Concert by the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra, of Saint Petersburg. This is one of
the 20 most prestigious ensembles of its kind in the world.
Sala Covarrubias. Teatro Nacional / 11 am
March 6
Performance by Solistas de La Habana.
March 13
Concert and award ceremony of the National Music Prize to composer and conductor Guido
López-Gavilán.
March 20
Concert by award winners from the UNEAC Competition Lianne Vega Serrano (pianist) and
Yanet Campbell Secades (violinist), who, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra,
will play Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466; and Tchaikovsky’s Op. 35 Violin
Concerto in D, respectively.
March 27
The National Symphony Orchestra and the German piano duo Lontano, made up by Babette
Hierholzer ands Jürgen Appell, will play El carnaval de los animales, symphonic suite for two
pianos and orchestra by Saint-Säens.
Sala Gonzalo Roig. Palacio del Teatro Lírico Nacional
March 27
5 pm
Cuerda Dominical, with guitarist Luis Manuel Molina.
Sala Ignacio Cervantes
March 13
Presentation of the UNEAC 2015 Interpretation Competition prizewinners.
March 20
Recital by the German piano duo Lontano, made up by Babette Hierholzer ands Jürgen Appell.
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Theatre
Teatro Trianón
Photo Alex Mene
Decamerón
Teatro El Público / Production: Carlos Díaz
Fridays & Saturdays 8:30pm; Sundays 5pm
Teatro Trianón
Several stories from Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron are put on stage with more than a hint at
Cuba today. Those who expect nudity galore from Carlos Díaz are in for a surprise.
Fool for Love
Eclipse
Argos Teatro / Production: Yailen Copola and Yeandro
Tamayo, Fri & Sat 8:30pm; Sun 5pm, Argos Teatro
Production Jazz Vilá
Fridays & Saturdays 8:30pm; Sundays 5pm
Sala Adolfo Llauradó
Play written by the successful American playwright/
actor Sam Shepard, in which two desperate lovers
involve the viewer in the asphyxiating setting of a
cruel and destructive love story.
Botella (En la noche
eterna de las botellas)
Estudio Teatral Alba / Production Jorge Alba
Thursdays, 5pm, Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
The play is about a man who turned out a dwarf
because of paternal abuse. He strikes back and
kills his father and his only way of escaping is to
get himself into a bottle, like a message, hoping to
flee.
Based on Strindberg’s Miss Julia, the play is about
a love triangle seen and judged through the
spectators, who are imaginary participants of
Eclipse, a coexistence program. Therefore, the
outcome changes with each performance.
El deseo
Compañía Hubert de Blanck / Production: Orietta
Medina, Fridays & Saturdays 8:30pm; Sundays 5pm
Sala Hubert de Blanck
A play by Mexican playwright Víctor Hugo Rascón
Banda about the conflicts of the relationship
between a middle-aged woman and a young man,
in which cultural differences overpower sex and
passion.
La oveja negra tiene un primo
March 4 & 5 de marzo, 8:30pm; March 6, 5pm, Teatro Lázaro Peña
Comedy show by La Oveja Negra and El Primo de Guisa.
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For kids
Havaneando
Through March 13, Saturdays, 4pm & 7pm; Sundays, 11am, 4pm & 7pm , Carpa Trompoloco
Exciting circus acts by the Compañía Havana, who are back home after a long international tour.
La Cuca
Érase un hombre
llamado La Fontaine
Teatro de títeres El Arca
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 3pm
Directed by Sara Millares with music by Ernesto
Lecuona, this mask puppet show and live actors
who sing will perform a unique version of the
popular children’s tale La Cucarachita Martina.
March 12, 11 am, Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Oral narration show focusing on fables and tales,
such as The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,
The Friends, The Glutton, The Wolf and the Lamb
and Belling the cat.
La princesa Sarah
Festival Ecos del Espiral
March 5, 11am, Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
March 21-26, Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
This is the story of Princess Sarah, who lives very
happily in her palace, unaware that an evil dragon
and his witch mother are planning to dirty the
streets of the kingdom. Warned by the Princess’s
faithful friend, Sir Samuel, a cleaning campaign
throughout the kingdom, but the witch casts a
spell on her… Produced by Estudio Teatral Alba.
Monday-Friday, 2pm-3pm & Saturdays, 1pm-2pm
Screening of videos from various countries
created children, teens and adults.
March 19 & 26, 10am-12pm & 2pm-4:30pm
Stop Motion Workshop
March 25, 2:30 pm
Una niña mala, by the 10 de Octubre Municipality
Chapter of La Colmenita.
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EVENTS IN HAVANA
XIV Festival
Internacional Fiesta
del Tambor Guillermo
Barreto in Memoriam
March 1-6, 2016
Mella Theater, Jardines del Teatro Mella, Casa de la
Música Habana, Occidental Memories Miramar Hotel,
Salón Rosado de La Tropical & Sala Avenida
Fiesta del Tambor: Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival
This festivity of percussion pays tribute to one of the cult figures of Cuban percussion: Guillermo
Barreto, star of the Tropicana orchestra in the 1950s and founding member of the Orquesta Cubana
de Música Moderna. While young talents measure their skills during the competition, experts disclose
the secrets of the complex Cuban percussion at master classes, and the evenings are set aside for the
performances of popular national and international bands and soloists. Percussionists from the UK and
the US will be participating alongside Cuban musicians.
The percussion competition will be open to musicians of all ages and nationalities in five different
modalities and instruments: drums, paila, congas, bongos and batá. Each musician may compete in two
different instruments. Another competition that will be held for the second time in this event will be
casino style salsa dancing for couples.
For more information: www.fiestadeltambor.cult.cu
Teatro Mella
March 1,
8:30pm
Dance and congas (Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, Habana Compás Dance, Rakatán, Compañía
Santiago Alfonso, Grupo Salsa, Mambo y Cha Cha Cha & Compañía Irene Rodríguez)
March 2,
8:30pm
Cuba & Venezuela (Pupy y los que Son, Julito Padrón and his band. Guests: Los Chinitos y
Grupo Guaco)
March 3,
8:30pm
The best percussionists of Cuba and the world (Proyecto Rodney Barreto, Dreyser y Yaroldy,
Oliver Valdés, Alex Acuña, Pete Lockett, Aldo Mazza, Roberto Fonseca y Ramsés Rodríguez,
Proyecto El Flamenco, Kike Terrón y José Montaña, Manu Masaedo, Ft Alain Pérez, Walfredo
de los Reyes Jr, Proyecto El Peje-Adel González-Dayron, Bombón, Suena como se Ve, Proyecto
Kono y sus Muchachos, Yissy García, Brenda Navarrete and Nasrine Rahmani)
March 4,
8:30pm
Dance Competition Final (Yoruba Andabo, Afrocuba de Matanzas, Kervin Barreto, Timba Mix
with the best timba DJs, Dj Timbao and Dj Mandy)
March 5,
8:30pm
Percussion Competition Final. Giraldo Piloto y Klímax, y Osain del Monte
March 6, 3pm
Awards ceremony for the dance and percussion competitions (Alain Pérez y su orquesta, and
Grupo Desandán)
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Jardines del Teatro Mella
March
1, 4
November
10:30pm
Eduardo Sosa
Iyyeroso
March 2,
10:30pm
Addachè de Matanzas
March 3,
10:30pm
Los Papines
8 pm
March
4, 4
November
10:30pm
Rumberos de Cuba
Eduardo Sosa
March 5,
10:30pm
Timbalaye
March 6,
10:30pm
Rumbatá de Camagüey
8 pm
Casa de la Música Habana
March
1, 4
November
11pm
El Niño Sosa
Eduardo
y la Verdad, y Maykel
Blanco y Salsa Mayor
March
4, 4
November
11pm
Bamboleo y
Eduardo
y
Son Iyá Sosa
March 2,
11 pm
NG la Banda y Denis y su Swing
March 5,
11pm
Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, y Elito
Revé y su Charangón
March
3, 4
November
4pm-6pm
Delvis Ponce y Experimental Jazz
Eduardo Sosa
March 3,
4pm-6pm
Julito Padrón y su Proyecto
8 pm
8 pm
Moise
Gonzalez,
Occidental Memories Miramar Hotel
March
1, 4
November
4pm-6pm
Eduardo
Alain
Pérez
Sosa
y su Proyecto de Jazz
March 2,
4pm-6pm
Alexis Bosch y Proyecto Jazz
Cubano
8 pm
8 pm
Salón Rosado de la Tropical
March
6, 4
November
6pm
8 pm
AlexanderSosa
Eduardo
Abreu y Habana de Primera, Paulo FG y su Élite, Giraldo Piloto y Klimax, Taínos de
Mayarí
Sala Avenida
March
1, 4
November
9am
Master Class
Eduardo
Sosaby Wally de los Reyes
(US): Brazil, Cuba, USA
March
3, 4
November
9am
Master Class by Alain Pérez: The
Eduardo
Sosa
Cajón in Flamenco
March 2,
10:30pm
International Percussion
Competition
March 5,
10:30pm
International Percussion
Competition
March 2,
9am
Master Class by Pete Lockett (UK):
Indian Percussion
March 6,
10:30pm
Master Class by Alex Acuña (US):
Weather Report Project
March 2,
10:30am
International Percussion
Competition
March 6,
10:30pm
International Percussion
Competition
8 pm
lahabana
8 pm
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EVENTS IN HAVANA
Premio de Musicología
Casa de las Américas y
Coloquio Internacional
de Musicología
March 7-11 , Casa de las Américas
Aimed at highlighting the best and most novel
musical research projects carried out in Latin
America, the Musicology Award also offers
a collateral program of lectures, workshops,
concerts and recitals. Since 1999, it has also held
the International Musicology Colloquium, an
important event for mutual recognition and the
meeting of Latin American specialists and from
around the world with what is happening in Cuban
music, through concerts, book launchings, record
albums and audiovisual materials.
For more information: www.casa.cult.cu
Bienal de Oralidad
Escénica BarrioCuento
2016
March 8-12
Casa del ALBA Cultural, theaters, parks, cultural
centers, schools and workplaces in Havana
Organized by the Teatro Cimarrón Company
and the Havana Theater Center, storytellers and
groups involved in theater, dance and music that
vindicate the traditions of African and native
American peoples. The theoretical event Oral
Literature and African Heritage will explore the
work of writers and institutions that safeguard the
cultural roots of their peoples.
X Coloquio y Festival
Internacional de Música
y Poesía Nicolás Guillén
March 22-24 , Cultural centers in Havana
In addition to reexamining the work of the Cuban
National Poet, Nicolás Guillén, the event proposes
an exchange of ideas on the history and cultures
of the African continent, from the time of the slave
trade to the present day, as well as aspects of its
diaspora in different countries where the African
presence has marked the identity of its people and
its culture. Along with concerts, poetry readings,
exhibitions and other cultural activities, the
theoretical event will take place through lectures,
panel discussions and papers.
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EVENTS IN HAVANA
XXII Encuentro
Internacional de
Academias para la
Enseñanza del Ballet
y XIV Concurso de
Jóvenes Bailarines
March 20-April 3
Nacional Theater and National Ballet School
Organized for the first time in 1993, this
International Meeting of Ballet Academies has
made it possible for dancers, teachers and students
to become familiar with the technical and stylistic
peculiarities of the Cuban School of Ballet through
workshops, courses, and methodological and
master lessons. Similarly, dancers and pedagogues
from other countries have conveyed their
experiences in a fruitful exchange with their Cuban
colleagues. The meeting will include workshops on
repertory, classical duet, technique, folk dances
and kinesiology applied to dancing; lectures on
methodology of the Cuban School of Ballet and
performances by participating academies.
For more information: www.enballet.cu
Havana World Music
(HWM)
March 24-27
Cultural centers in Havana
Fabulous musical and cultural festival that includes
performances and workshops, and in which the
richness of diversity and mestizaje is highlighted.
With difference as a source of inspiration and
music as an engine of progress, HWM intends to
open a window of Cuba to the world and the world
to Cuba, promoting the musical collaboration
among artists from very different backgrounds
and styles, offering unrepeatable concerts to
audiences. The HWM 2016 Lineup includes Juanito
Makandé (Spain), Centavrvs (Mexico), Kobo Town
(Trinidad and Tobago-Canadá), Daniela Spalla
(Argentina), Vox Sambou (Haiti-Canada), Sergent
García (France), Carolina Camacho (Dominican
Republic) and Al McKay, whose concert Earth,
Wind & Fire Experience will bring great hits of
the band he was a member of. Cuban musicians
include Havana D’Primera, Yoruba Andabo, Yelsy
Heredia y Camino a Maisí, Yissy & Bandancha,
Athanai, Ecos, the Tumba Francesa and members
of the Primera Base Project, which supports young
talents.
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EVENTS IN HAVANA
Fiesta de los Clarinetes
March 26-April 2
Cultural institutions in Havana
This Clarinet Festival is a project organized by
the D’Accord Duo, made up by pianist Marita
Rodríguez and clarinetist Vicente Monterrey.
The event will include concerts, master classes
and meetings. Guest musicians include Trío
TreColori (Germany), Mauricio Murcia (clarinet,
Colombia), Ébanos de La Habana clarinet quartet,
clarinetist Javier Zalba, Dianelys Castillo, Arístides
Porto, Héctor Herrera, Alejandro Calzadilla, Alden
Ortuño, Antonio Dorta, Michael Elvermann, Rafael
Inciarte, Aylet Roque, Maryibis García, Niniam
Rodríguez, Kimani Irarragori, Yoleidys Valderrama,
Dunia A. Benítez and Joel Lafont, Cañas Móviles
Trio (clarinet, oboe and bassoon).
Oratorio San Felipe Neri
March 26, 4pm
April 1, 6pm
April 2, 4pm
Concerts
Fábrica de Arte
March 31,
9:30pm
Concert
Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana
March 28-30;
2pm to 5pm
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Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana
Master classes and meetings
page 55
EVENTS IN HAVANA
Coloquio Fuelle
March 23-25
Historical Center of Old Havana
Organized to celebrate the arrival of photography
in Cuba and the 176 years since the first recorded
photo was taken. During the three days of the
colloquium, books Ediciones Bolona related to
the theme, and a digital bibliography to which the
public can access for free at the Casa Víctor Hugo
Library.
23 de febrero
9:30am
Se hizo la luz. A picture will be taken from the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales where the
first picture was made in Cuba 176 years ago. The photo will be developed on site.
10:00am
Recorrido por la calle O´Reilly. This street used to be known as Photographers’ Street. Walk
around the street with a presentation by the historian Arturo Pedroso.
11:00am
Presentación del Coloquio Fuelle. Opening of the bibliographic exhibition Entre colecciones.
24 de febrero
10:00am
Lecture Aproximación a los estudios fotográficos de La Habana del siglo xix (19th-century
photographic studios in Havana) by Claudia Arcos Ponce.
10:45am
Lecture Chez Blez, on photographer Joaquín Blez, by Lisette Ríos.
11:30am
Lecture about Luis A. del Cueto (Karol), by Lismary del Prado.
25 de febrero
10:00am
Lecture about Julio Berenstein, by Isachy Durruthyí.
10:45am
Presentation of the research work prior to the book Damas, esfinges y mambisas: Mujeres en
la fotografía cubana (1840-1902), by Grethel Morell Otero.
11:30am
Lecture La fotografía de guerra en la Colonia, by Liset Valderrama.
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Around Cuba
Festival Internacional
de Documentales
Santiago Álvarez In
Memoriam
6-11 de marzo
Santiago de Cuba
Created in 2000, the International Documentary
Festival Santiago Álvarez In Memoriam highlights
the prominent role of the documentary, a film genre
that has been somewhat consigned to oblivion by
the promotional mechanisms of the larger movie
festivals, yet with a tradition of significant quality
and acknowledgement in Cuba, among other factors, thanks to the work of the late prize-winning Cuban
film-maker, Santiago Alvarez. Although the festival began as a national event dedicated to the memory
of the most relevant Cuban documentary maker of all time, throughout the years it has attracted the
attention of a number of filmmakers from Latin America, Europe and the United States. With films
in competition, ancillary screenings and theoretical discussions, the Festival constitutes a space for
exchanging opinions and experiences among filmmakers and lovers of this genre. The 2016 country
guest of honor will be Peru and the 4th Photogrpahy Contest will be held under the title “Solidarity”
which aims to legitimate the realities of today’s world through photographic images.
For more information: www.santiagoalvarez.org/es
III Taller Internacional de Payasos
Las Tunas
This 3rd meeting of clowns will include classes, workshops, lectures, exhibitions and plays on the world
of clowns. Both professionals and aficionados will be able to participate in theme workshops, theoretical
events, concerts, exhibitions and the launching of specialized books.
For more information: www.tunet.cult.cu
Festival de la Trova Pepe Sánchez
March 19-23
Parque Céspedes, Casa de la Trova, Sala de Conciertos Dolores, Casa del Coro Madrigalista, Sede de la UNEAC,
Terraza Matamoros, Santiago de Cuba
The International Pepe Sánchez Trova Festival began in 1962 in homage to local Santiago de Cuba
composer José (Pepe) Sánchez (1856-1918), considered the father of Cuban trova. Several generations
of musicians from different musical trends within trova participate in this event. Santiago de Cuba, the
cradle of trova, hosts this festival, which takes the city’s streets and parks by storm, in a celebration
where international musicians and singers join their Cuban counterparts. The opening of the festival on
March 19, Trovador Day, commemorates the anniversary of the birth of Pepe Sánchez.
For more information: http://noticiasdesantiagodecuba.com
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El Litoral
Havana’s
best places to eat
El Atelier
Bella Ciao
Café Bohemia
Café Laurent
Experimental fusion
Homely Italian
Café
Spanish/Mediterranean
Interesting décor, interesting
menu.
Great service, good prices. A
real home from home.
Bohemian feel. Great
sandwiches, salads & juices
Attractive penthouse
restaurant with breezy
terrace.
Calle 5 e/ Paseo y 2, Vedado
(+53) 7-836-2025
Calle 19 y 72, Playa
(+53) 7-206-1406
Calle San Ignacio #364, Habana
Vieja
Calle M #257, e/ 19 y 21, Vedado
(+53) 7-831-2090
los mercaderes
Cuban-Creole
Beautiful colonial house.
Popular place with quality
food and great service.
Calle Mercaderes No. 207 altos e/
Lamparilla y Amargura. H.Vieja
(+53) 7861 2437
otra manera
Casa Miglis
El Chanchullero
international
Swedish-Cuban fusion
Spanish/Mediterranean
Beautiful modern decor.
Interesting menu and good
service.
Calle #35 e/ 20 y 41, Playa.
(+53) 7-203-8315
Oasis of good food & taste in
Centro Habana
Fabulous value hole in the
wall tapas. Trendy.
Lealtad #120 e/ Ánimas y
Lagunas, Centro Habana
(+53) 7-864-1486
Teniente Rey #457 bajos, Plaza del
Cristo, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-872-8227
El Cocinero
Corte Príncipe
río mar
D.eutimia
internacional
Italian
international
cuban/creole
Industrial chic alfresco
rooftop with a buzzing
atmosphere
Sergio’s place. Simple décor,
spectacular food.
Contemporary décor. Great
sea-view. Good food.
Absolutely charming.
Excellent Cuban/creole food.
Calle 26, e/ 11 y 13, Vedado.
(+53) 7-832-2355
Calle 9na esq. a 74, Miramar
(+53) 5-255-9091
Ave. 3raA y Final #11, La Puntilla,
Miramar
(+53) 7-209-4838
Callejón del Chorro #60C, Plaza
de la Catedral, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7 861 1332
La fontana
internacional
Habana mía
International gourmet
iván chef
spanish
El litoral
International
Consistently good food,
attentive service. Old school.
Endless summer nights.
Excellent food and service.
Brilliantly creative and rich
food.
Watch the world go by at the
Malecón’s best restaurant.
Calle 46 #305 esq. a 3ra, Miramar
(+53) 7-202-8337
Paseo #7 altos e/ 1ra y 3ra.
Vedado
(+53) 7-830-2287
Aguacate #9 esq. a Chacón,
Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-863-9697
Malecón #161 e/ K y L, Vedado
(+53) 7-830-2201
santy
sushi/oriental
Nazdarovie
soviet
Authentic fisherman’s shack
servicing world-class sushi.
Well designed Soviet décor
excellent food & service.
Calle 240A #3023 esq. a 3ra C,
Jaimanitas
(+53) 5-286-7039
Malecon #25, 3rd floor e Prado y
Carcel, Centro Habana
(+53) 7-860-2947
nero di seppia
Italian
The new location for
Havana’s best pizza chef,
Walter. Same food, great
locale.
Calle 6 #122 e/ 1a y 3a, Miramar
(+53) 5-478-7871
san cristóbal
cuban/creole
Deservedly popular.
Consistently great food.
Kitsch décor.
San Rafael #469 e/ Lealtad y
Campanario, Centro Habana
(+53) 7-860-9109
La
Guarida
www.laguarida.com
TOP PICK
Style of food: Contemporary fusion
Cost: Expensive
Type of place: Private (Paladar)
Best for Authentic, charming and intimate atmosphere
in Cuba’s best known restaurant. Great food,
professional. Classy.
Don’t Miss Uma Thurman, Beyoncé or the Queen of
Spain if they happen to be dining next to you.
Concordia #418 e/ Gervasio y Escobar, Centro Habana.
(+53) 7-866-9047
El Litoral
Style of food
TOP PICK
International
CostExpensive
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for Quality décor, good service and great food.
Best new place recently opened.
Don’t Miss Drinking a cocktail at sunset watching the
world go by on the Malecón
Malecón #161 e/ K y L, Vedado.
(+53) 7-830-2201
Nazdarovie
Style of food
TOP PICK
Soviet
CostModerate
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for Getting a flavor of Cuban-Soviet history along
with babuska’s traditional dishes in a classy locale.
Don’t miss Vodka sundowners on the gorgeous terrace
overlooking the malecon.
Malecon #25 3rd floor e/ Prado y Carcel, Centro Habana
(+53) 7-860-2947
Santy
Style of food
TOP PICK
Sushi
CostModerate
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for Fabulous sushi, wonderful ambience
overlooking fishing boats heading out to sea. World
class.
Don’t miss Getting a reservation here.
Calle 240A #3023 esq. 3raC, Jaimanitas
(+53) 5-286-7039
Café Bohemia
Style of food
TOP PICK
Traditional
CostModerate
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for taking a break from long walks and seeking
shelter from the stifling Cuban.
Don’t miss location in the cool inner courtyard of the
colonial building.
Ground floor of the Palacio de la Casa del Conde de Lombillo,
Calle San Ignacio #364
(+53) 5- 403-1 568, (+53) 7-836-6567
www.havanabohemia.com
Iván Chef Justo
Style of food
TOP PICK
Spanish
CostExpensive
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for Spectacular innovative food. Light and airy
place where it always seems to feel like Springtime.
Don’t Miss The lightly spiced grilled mahi-mahi served
with organic tomato relish. Try the suckling pig and stay
for the cuatro leches.
Aguacate #9, Esq. Chacón, Habana Vieja.
(+53) 7-863-9697 / (+53) 5-343-8540
Los Mercaderes
Style of food
TOP PICK
Cuban-Creole
CostModerate
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for Beautiful colonial house. Popular place with
quality food and great service.
Dont’t Miss The balcony view to the colonial epicenter
of La Habana Vieja.
Calle Mercaderes No. 207 altos e/ Lamparilla y Amargura.
Habana Vieja
(+53) 7861 2437 y (+53) 5290 1531
Casa Miglis
Style of food
TOP PICK
Swedish-Cuban fusion
CostExpensive
Type of place Private (Paladar)
Best for The beautifully designed interior, warm
ambience and Miglis’s personality create the feeling of
an oasis in Central Havana.
Don’t Miss Chatting with Mr Miglis. The Skaargan
prawns, beef Chilli and lingonberries.
Lealtad #120 e/ Ánimas y Lagunas, Centro Habana
(+53) 7-864-1486
www.casamiglis.com
HAVANA’S
best Bars & Clubs
TRADITIONAL BARS
EL FLORIDITA
Hemingway’s daiquiri bar.
Touristy but always full of life.
Great cocktails.
Obispo #557 esq. a Monserrate,
Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-867-1299
1950S
TRADITIONALS
SLOPPY JOE’S
BAR
CERVECERÍA
ANTIGUO ALMACÉN DE LA
MADERA Y EL TABACO
GUEST PERFORMERS INCLUDE
BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
MEMBERS
Recently (beautifully)
renovated. Full of history.
Popular. Lacks a little ‘grime’.
Sociedad Rosalía de Castro, Egido
504 e/ Monte y Dragones, Old
Havana
(+53) 5-270-5271
Ánimas esq. a Zulueta, Habana
Vieja
Microbrewery located
overlooking the restored
docks Simply brilliant.
Avenida del Puerto y San Ignacio,
La Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-866-7157
CONTEMPORARY BARS
EL COCINERO
ESPACIOS
TABARISH
FAC
Fabulous rooftop setting,
great service, cool vibe.
Laid back contemporary bar
with a real buzz in the back
beer-garden.
A comfortable place to chat
/ hang out with your friends.
Great service.
Calle 26 e/ 11 y 13, Vedado
(+53) 7-832-2355
Calle 10 #510, e/ 5ta y 31,
Miramar
(+53) 7-836-3031
Calle 20 #503, e/ 5ta y 7ma.
(+53) 7-202-9188
X Alfonso’s new cultural
center. Great concerts, funky
young scene.
Calle 26 e/ 11 y 13, Vedado
(next to the Puente de Hierro)
(+53) 5-329-6325
www.facebook.com/fabrica.
deartecubano
CONTEMPORARY BARS/CLUBS
DON CANGREJO
Love it/hate it—this is the
oldest Friday night party
place and is still going strong.
Outdoor by the sea.
Ave. 1ra e/ 16 & 18, Miramar
(+53) 7-204-3837
BOLABANA
Packed night after night with
a young dressed-up clientele
wanting to party. Don’t go
looking for Buena Vista Social
Club!
Calle 39 esq. 50, Playa
(+53) 5 -294-3572
CORNER CAFÉ
SANGRI-LA
Highly frequented by locals.
Great tapas. Live Music
performances every day .
Calle B e/ 1ra y 3ra. Plaza de la
Revolución
(+53) 7837 1220
For the cool kids. Basement
bar/club which gets packed
at weekends.
Ave. 21 e/ 36 y 42, Miramar
(+53) 7-264-8343
GAY-FRIENDLY
CABARET
LAS VEGAS
Can get dark and smoky but great
drag show (11pm) from Divino—one
of Cuba’s most accomplished drag
acts.
Ave. 21 e/ 36 y 42, Miramar
(+53) 7-264-8343
FASHION BAR
HAVANA
A superb example of queer class
meets camp, accompanied by a
San Juan de Dios, esq. a Aguacate,
Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-867-1676
CAFÉ BAR
MADRIGAL
Pop décor, fancy cocktails, and the
staff’s supercilious attitude, this
is a gathering spot for all types of
folks.
Calle 17 #809 e/ 2 y 4, Vedado
(+53) 7-831-2433
Corner Café
TOP PICK
Contemporary Bar/clubs
Best for Highly frequented by locals. Great tapas
Don’t Miss Live Music performances every day at 11pm
Calle B e/ 1ra y 3ra. Plaza de la Revolución
(+53) 7837 1220
Espacios
TOP PICK
Contemporary Bar/clubs
Best for Laid back lounge atmosphere in the garden
area which often has live music. Good turnover of
people.
Don’t Miss Ray Fernandez, Tony Avila, Yasek Mazano
playing live sets in the garden.
Calle 10 #510 e/ 5ta y 31, Miramar
(+53) 7-202-2921
Sangri-La
TOP PICK
Contemporary Bar/clubs
Best for Hanging out with the cool kids on the Havana
Farundula in the most popular bar/club.
Don’t Miss The best gin and tonic in Havana.
Ave. 21 e/ 36 y 42, Miramar
(+53) 5-264-8343
Bolabana
TOP PICK
Contemporary
Best for Trendy new location near Salón Rosado de la
Tropical
Don’t Miss Hipsters meet the Havana Farándula
Calle 39 esq. 50, Playa
Sloppy Joe´s Bar
TOP PICK
Bar / Traditional
Best for Immense original bar lovingly
restored. Good service, History.
Worst for Not quite grimy. Too clean.
Ánimas, esq. Zulueta La Habana Vieja,
(07) 866-7157
Fábrica de Arte
TOP PICK
Contemporary Bar
Best for X Alfonso’s superb new cultural center has
something for everyone
Don’t Miss Artists who exhibit work should
demonstrate ongoing creativity and a commitment
for social transformation.
Calle 26 e/ 11 y 13, Vedado
(next to the Puente de Hierro)
Fashion Bar
Havana
TOP PICK
GAy friendly
Best for A superb example of queer class meets camp,
accompanied by a fantastic floor show.
Don’t Miss The staff performing after 11pm
San Juan de Dios, esq. a Aguacate, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-867-1676
Bertolt Brecht
TOP PICK
Contemporary Bar/clubs
Best for Hanging out with hip & funky Cubans who like
their live music.
Don’t Miss Interactivo playing on a Wednesday evening.
Calle 13 e/ I y J, Vedado
(+53) 7-830-1354
Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís
Havana’s
best live music venues
Concert venues
karl marx
theatre
World class musicians
perform prestigious concerts
in Cuba’s best equipped
venue.
Calle 1ra esq. a 10, Miramar
(+53) 7-203-0801
Basílica San
Francisco de
Asís
A truly beautiful church,
which regularly hosts
fabulous classical music
concerts.
Oficios y Amargura, Plaza de San
Francisco de Asís, Habana Vieja
fábrica de
arte
sala
covarrubias
X Alfonso’s new cultural
center. Great concerts inside
(small and funky) and outside
(large and popular!).
Calle 26 e/ 11 y 13, Vedado (next to
the Puente de Hierro)
teatro nacional
Recently renovated, one
of Cuba’s most prestigious
venues for a multitude of
events.
Paseo y 39, Plaza de la Revolución.
jazz
jazz café
café jazz
miramar
la zorra y
el cuervo
A staple of Havana’s jazz scene,
the best jazz players perform here.
Somewhat cold atmosphere-wise.
Clean, modern and atmospheric.
Where Cuba’s best musicians jam
and improvise.
Galerías de Paseo
Ave. 1ra e/ Paseo y A, Vedado
Cine Teatro Miramar
10:30pm – 2am
Ave. 5ta esq. a 94, Miramar
Intimate and atmospheric, this
basement jazz club, which you
enter through a red telephone box,
is Cuba’s most famous.
Calle 23 e/ N y O, Vedado
(+53) 7-833-2402
salsa/timba
café cantante
mi habana
Attracts the best Cuban
musicians. Recently
renovated with an excellent
new sound system.
Ave. Paseo esq. a 39, Plaza de la
Revolución
(+53) 7-878-4273
casa de la
música
casa de la
música
centro habana
miramar
salón rosado
de la tropical
A little rough around the
edges but spacious. For better
or worse, this is ground zero
for the best in Cuban salsa.
Smaller and more up-market
than its newer twin in Centro
Habana. An institution in the
Havana salsa scene.
The legendary beer garden
where Arsenio tore it up.
Look for a salsa/timba gig
on a Sat night and a Sun
matinee.
Galiano e/ Neptuno y Concordia,
Centro Habana
(+53) 7-860-8296/4165
Calle 20 esq. a 35, Miramar
(+53) 7-204-0447
Ave. 41 esq. a 46, Playa
Times: varies wildly
(+53) 7-203-5322
contemporary
café tatro
bertolt brecht
Think MTV Unplugged when
musicians play. Hip, funky
and unique with an artsy
Cuban crowd.
Calle 13 e/ I y J, Vedado
(+53) 7-830-1354
don cangrejo
el sauce
Love it/hate it—this is the
oldest Friday night party
place and is still going strong.
Outdoor by the sea.
Great outdoor concert
venue to hear the best in
contemporary & Nueva Trova
live in concert.
Ave. 1ra e/ 16 y 18, Miramar
(+53) 7-204-3837
Ave. 9na #12015 e/ 120 y 130,
Playa
(+53) 7-204-6428
teatro de
bellas artes
Small intimate venue inside
Cuba’s most prestigious arts
museum. Modern.
Trocadero e/ Zulueta y
Monserrate, Habana Vieja.
trova & traditional
Barbaram
pepito´s bar
Some of the best Cuban
Nueva Trova musicians
perform in this small and
intimate environment.
Calle 26 esq. a Ave. del Zoológico.
Nuevo Vedado
(+53) 7-881-1808
gato tuerto
Late night place to hear
fabulous bolero singers. Can
get smoky.
Calle O entre 17 y 19, Vedado
(+53) 7-833-2224
tradicionales
de los 50
salón 1930
compay segundo
The 1950s traditionals, a
project created over 10 years
ago, pays tribute to the
Golden Era of Cuban music:
the 1950s.
Buena Vista Social Club
style set in the grand Hotel
Nacional.
Sociedad Rosalia de Castro, Egido
#504 e/ Monte y Dragones,
Havana Vieja
(+53) 7-861-7761
Hotel Nacional
Calle O esq. a 21, Vedado
(+53) 7-835-3896
Havana’s Best Hotels
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Simply the best…
Iberostar
Parque Central
Luxury hotel overlooking
Parque Central
Neptuno e/ Prado y Zulueta,
Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-860-6627
Santa Isabel
Luxurious historic mansion
facing Plaza de Armas
Narciso López, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-860-8201
Saratoga
Terral
Stunning view from roof-top
pool. Beautiful décor.
Wonderful ocean front
location. Newly renovated.
Paseo del Prado #603 esq. a
Dragones, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-860-8201
Malecón esq. a Lealtad, Centro
Habana
(+53) 7-862-8061
Boutique Hotels in Old Havana
Florida
Beautifully restored colonial
house.
Obispo #252, esq. a Cuba, Habana
Vieja
(+53) 7-862-4127
Palacio del
Marqués...
Cuban baroque meets
modern minimalist
Oficios #152 esq. a Amargura,
Habana Vieja
Business Hotels
Meliá Cohíba
Meliá Habana
Oasis of polished marble and
professional calm.
Attractive design & extensive
facilities.
Ave Paseo e/ 1ra y 3ra, Vedado
(+53) 7- 833-3636
Ave. 3ra y 70, Miramar
(+53) 5-204-8500
Hostal Valencia
Immensely charming, great
value.
Oficios #53 esq. a Obrapía,
Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-867-1037
Occidental
miramar
conde de
villanueva
Delightfully small and
intimate. For cigar lovers.
Mercaderes #202, Lamparilla
(+53) 7-862-9293
H10 Habana
panorama
Good value, large spacious
modern rooms.
Cascades of glass. Good wifi. Modern.
Ave. 5ta. e/ 70 y 72, Miramar
(+53) 7-204-3583
Ave. 3ra. y 70, Miramar
(+53) 7 204-0100
For a sense of history
Ambos Mundos
Mercure Sevilla
A must for Hemingway
aficionados
Stunning views from the roof
garden restaurant.
Calle Obispo #153 esq. a
Mercaderes, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7- 860-9529
Trocadero #55 entre Prado y
Zulueta, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-860-8560
Hotel Nacional
Eclectic art-deco
architecture. Gorgeous
gardens.
Calle O esq. a 21, Vedado
(+53) 7-835 3896
Riviera
Spectacular views over wavelashed Malecón
Paseo y Malecón, Vedado
(+53) 7-836-4051
Economical/Budget Hotels
Bosque
Deauville
Saint John’s
Vedado
On the banks of the Río
Almendares.
Lack of pretension, great
location.
Lively disco, tiny quirky pool.
Popular.
Good budget option with a
bit of a buzz
Calle 28-A e/ 49-A y 49-B,
Reparto Kohly, Playa
(+53) 7-204-9232
Galiano e/ Sán Lázaro y Malecón,
Centro Habana
(+53) 7-866-8812
Calle O e/ 23 y 25, Vedado
(+53) 7-833-3740
Calle O e/ 23 y 25, Vedado
(+53) 7-836-4072
Havana’s
best private
places to stay
Mid range - Casa Particular (B&B)
1932
Miramar 301
Visually stunning, historically
fascinating. Welcoming.
Campanario #63 e/ San Lázaro y
Laguna, Centro Habana
(+53) 7-863-6203
Luxury House
4 bedrooms private luxury
villa with swimming pool
Habana
Julio y Elsa
Beautiful colonial townhouse
with great location.
Cluttered bohemian feel.
Hospitable.
Calle Habana #209, e/
Empedrado, y Tejadillo, Habana
Vieja.
(+53) 7-861-0253
Consulado #162 e/ Colón y
Trocadero, Centro Habana
( +53) 7-861-8027
Up-scale B&Bs (Boutique hostals)
Cañaveral House
Vitrales
Casa Escorial
Hostal Guanabo
But undoubtedly the most
beautiful about private homes
in Cuba
Hospitable, attractive and
reliable boutique B&B with 9
bedrooms.
Attractive accomodations
with a panoramic view of
Plaza Vieja
Beautiful 4 bedroom seafront villa in sleepy Guanabo.
Excellent food.
39A street, #4402, between 44 y
46, Playa, La Habana Cuba
(+53) 295-5700
http://www.cubaguesthouse.com/
canaveral.home.html?lang=en
Habana #106 e/ Cuarteles y
Chacón, Habana Vieja
(+53) 7-866-2607
Mercaderes # 315 apt 3 e/
Muralla y Teniente Rey, Plaza
Vieja, Habana Vieja
(+53) 5-268 6881; 5-278 6148
[email protected]
Calle 480 #1A04 e/ 1ra y 3ra,
Guanabo
(+53) 7-799-0004
Apartment rentals
Bohemia Boutique
Apartments
Gorgeous 1-bedroom
apartment beautifully
decorated apartment
overlooking Plaza Vieja.
San Ignacio #364 e/ Muralla y
Teniente Rey, Plaza Vieja
(+53) 5- 403-1 568
(+53) 7-836-6567
www.havanabohemia.com
Casa Concordia
Beautifully designed
and spacious 3 bedroom
apartment. Spanish colonial
interiors with cheerful, arty
accents.
Concordia #151 apto. 8 esq. a San
Nicolás, Centro Habana
(+53) 5-254-5240
www.casaconcordia.net
Tropicana
Penthouse
A luxurious penthouse
with huge roof terrace and
breath-taking 360 degree
views of Havana and the
ocean.
Galiano #60 Penthouse Apt.10 e/
San Lázaro y Trocadero
(+53) 5-254-5240
www.tropicanapenthouse.com
Suite Havana
Elegant 2-bedroom
apartment in restored
colonial building. Quality loft
style décor.
Lamparilla #62 altos e/
Mercaderes y San Ignacio,
Habana Vieja
(+53) 5-829-6524
Luxury Houses
Villasol
Casablanca
Rent Room elegant and wellequipped. Beautiful wild
garden and great pool.
Elegant well-equipped villa
formerly owned by Fulgencio
Batista. Beautiful wild garden.
Calle 17 #1101 e/ 14 y 16, Vedado
(+34) 677525361
(+53) 7-832-1927
(+53) 5-360-0456
Morro-Cabaña Park. House #29
(+53) 5-294-5397
www.havanacasablanca.com
Michael and
María Elena
This leafy oasis in western
Havana has an attractive
mosaic tiled pool and three
modern bedrooms.
Calle 66 #4507 e/ 45 y Final,
Playa
(+53) 7-209-0084
Residencia
Mariby
A sprawling vanilla-hued
mansion with 6 rooms
decorated with colonial-era
lamps, tiles and Louis XV
furniture
Vedado.
(+53) 5-370-5559
TOP PICK
Bohemia Boutique
Apartments Red
Best for 3 small balconies (facing the Patio of the
Palace), 1 spacious bedroom with air conditioning
Don’t Miss The apartment is fully furbished, plenty of
light and very well ventilated.
San Ignacio #364 e/ Muralla y Teniente Rey, Plaza Vieja,
Habana Vieja [email protected]
(+53) 5 4031 568: (53) 7 8366 567
www.havanabohemia.com
TOP PICK
Bohemia Boutique
Apartments Blue
Best for i1 internal balcony, 1 spacious bedroom on the
mezzanine with air conditioning.
Don’t Miss The apartment is fully furbished, plenty of
light and very well ventilated.
San Ignacio #364 e/ Muralla y Teniente Rey, Plaza Vieja,
Habana Vieja [email protected]
(+53) 5 4031 568: (53) 7 8366 567
www.havanabohemia.com
Casa Escorial
TOP PICK
Best for Attractive accomodations with a panoramic
view of Plaza Vieja
Don’t Miss The smell of fresh made coffee from the
café below.
Mercaderes # 315 apt 3 e/ Muralla y Teniente Rey, Plaza
Vieja, Habana Vieja
(+53) 5-268 6881; 5-278-6148
[email protected]
Cañaveral House
TOP PICK
Best for Large elegant villa away from downtown
Havana. Great for families or groups of friends.
Don’t Miss Basking in the sun as you stretch out on
the lawn of the beautifully kept garden.
39A street, #4402, between 44 y 46, Playa, La Habana Cuba
(+53) 295-5700
http://www.cubaguesthouse.com