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Authentic Cuba Expert's Corner
Yane Marquez, Authentic Cuba Travel® Expert Travel Agent Hola! My name is Yane Marquez and I was born and raised in Cuba. After graduating from the University of Havana and the Tourism School of Cuba, I worked for over 10 years as a tour guide, translator and event organizer for Cuba's travel companies and organizations. I guided many groups attending Cuba's main international festivals, fairs and events. A few years ago, I moved to Canada where I have continued promoting Cuba’s tourism industry. I would be more than happy to answer any question you have about festival Cuba travel. Do not miss out!
Contact Me
Havana Hotel Packages for the Havana Jazz Festival Tour
Hotels:
This Cuba tour offers the following Cuban hotels:

4-Star Hotel
Habana Riviera
Ocean View!

by Iberostar Hotels

5-Star Hotel
Melia Cohiba
City-Ocean View!

by Melia Hotels
Destinations:
This Cuba tour travels to the following Cuban destinations:

Old Havana
UNESCO World Heritage Site in Havana City

Vinales Valley
UNESCO World Heritage Site in Western Cuba
Cuba tour options for the Cuba's International Jazz Festival
Cuba Tours:
Which Cuba Jazz Festival Cuba tour is best for you?

6-Day Havana Jazz Festival
Cuba Tour

for travelers on a limited budget or short on time looking to explore Havana and Western Cuba.

9-Day Havana Jazz Festival
Cuba Tour

for travelers looking to explore Havana, Western Cuba and Central Cuba.

8-Day Santiago Jazz Festival
Cuba Tour

for repeating travelers looking to explore Santiago de Cuba in Eastern Cuba.

Jazz Tour Comparison
How to go to the Havana Jazz Festival from USA
About the Havana Jazz Festival
For those who thought that the Trump administration’s tightening of U.S. Cuba travel regulations will somehow hinder the success of the 34th edition of the Havana Jazz Festival “Jazz Plaza 2019”, think again. With a record number of US citizens and leading American jazz musicians in attendance, the Havana jazz festival continues to be considered the most prestigious Jazz festival in Latin America.
Read More
Cuba Study Tours & Travel to Cuba from USA
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2020 Havana Jazz Festival Cuba Tour
Update: 2 Seats Left Only! This Tour is a Guaranteed Departure! Direct USA- Havana Flights Available. Most US Airlines flight to Cuba.

Havana Jazz Festival Jazz Plaza 2020 USA Cuba Travel for US Travelers Melia Cohiba Hotel Discount Cuba Tours Shopping in privately-owned stores supports the Cuban people financially Reviews of the Havana Jazz Festival 2020 Explore Vinales during the Havana Jazz Festival 2020 Old Havana, Unesco World Heritage Site Support for the Cuban People establish a dialogue with Cuban Independent Organizations. USA Cuba Travel for US Organizations

Cuba Festival Tours: 2020 Havana Jazz Festival
"Jazz Plaza 2020"
From January 15 to January 20, 2020


Explore 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old Havana & Vinales Valley
for 1,999 (tax included) only!


Referral Discount: $100

Invite 1 Friend and Pay $1,899 only
Invite 2 Friends and Pay $1,799 only
Invite 3 Friends and Pay $1,699 only
Invite 4 Friends and Pay $1,599 only
Invite 10 Friends and Pay $0
And remember every person you invite
will also receive a $100 discount!


Why Join Our 6 Day Cuba Tour to The Havana Jazz Festival 2020?



Our short 2020 Havana Jazz Festival Cuba Tour allows CASH FREE entry to all official Jazz festival events (VIP Jazz Pass included). Designed for US travelers who want to visit Cuba legally and have a limited budget and/or are short on time, this Cuba jazz itinerary also includes Havana’s best hotels, dedicated luxurious air-conditioning transportation, entrance fee to Havana’s top-notch attractions, most meals and 24/7 dedicated 5 star Cuba travel services provided by our Cuban team!

Not only this is the most affordable jazz tour to Cuba but it gives you the opportunity to get unlimited discounts! You will receive a $100 discount for every traveler that you invite to join. If you invite 10 travelers, we cover all your ground tour costs! You will just pay airfare. And those who travel with you will be grateful as they will also receive a 100 discount.

Working together with independent Cuban organizations, nongovernmental outreach community projects and Cubans whose work promote independent activity to strengthen the civil society in Cuba, we have designed the Havana Jazz Festival itinerary to meet OFAC requirements for Cuba travel under the General License for the Support for the Cuban People (515.574 (a)). Our Support for the Cuban People program consists on a full-time schedule of activities that will enhance the contact and result in meaningful interactions in between the US travelers and the Cubans while supporting Cuba’s civil society and entrepreneurial activity.

So you travel with the peace of mind of knowing that you are in compliance with current Trump administration’s regulations on USA Cuba travel. You can depart from Florida, California, New York or any other US port of your choosing. Alternatively, we can also help with bookings via third countries if that’s more convenient for you.

For many years, Authentic Cuba Travel® has closely worked with the Organizing Committee of the Havana Jazz Festival, the Cuba’s Ministry of Culture, Havana’s Premier Jazz Venues and Cuban jazz musicians and scholars to create the most beautiful jazz tours to Cuba for the North American jazz enthusiast.

We have taken thousands of travelers from US, Canada and all over the world to the Jazz festival of Havana over the years! We have the largest list of reviews to prove it! Click Here to read historical verified reviews and testimonials dating back years!

The biggest jazz festival in South America never ceases to amaze. Cuba reverberates to the sounds of jazz every time, and it will surely do it again in 2020. Join our Official Cuba Tours to the Jazz Festival in 2020. As every year, we have a limited capacity. Book now! Do not miss out this year!

Why the Havana Jazz Festival?



From Havana’s premier concert halls such as the National Theatre of Cuba, the Havana’s Mella Theatre and Casa de la Cultura de Plaza; to famed jazz venues such as the Havana Jazz Cafe, La Zorra y El Cuervo Jazz Club, and Fabrica de Arte; to street corners, the best Cuban jazz musicians performed altogether leading international jazz acts from US and around the world in each edition of the International Jazz Festival of Havana, the biggest jazz festival in Latin America and one of the most famed jazz festivals in the world.

Cuba has consistently produced legendary jazz musicians like trumpet player Arturo Sandoval and sax player Paquito Rivera, former members of Cuba’s Irakere, a Grammy Award Cuban band founded by Chucho Valdez. Again, no surprise here as Cuba is the birthplace of the Latin Jazz, a combination of the Afro-Cuban clave beat, different Cuban rhythms and jazz harmonies.

Click here for the past Jazz Plaza 2019 Festival Line-up so that you have an idea why this is one of the most important jazz festivals in the world.

US Travelers are Welcome!



Authentic Cuba Travel® makes it as easy as possible (under the current OFAC Cuba Travel Regulations- June 6, 2019) for US citizens who are genuinely interested in supporting the Cuban people to visit Cuba legally. Our Jazz tours to Cuba have been designed to meet the criteria set forth by Trump’s administration on USA-Cuba legal travel under the General License for the Support for the Cuban People. Our Cuba Jazz tours feature a full-time schedule of activities that will enhance the contact with the Cuban people and support civil society in Cuba.

Any US citizen or permanent resident genuinely interested in supporting the Cuban people can travel to Cuba from USA legally. Supporting the Cuban people by patronizing privately owned restaurants, stores, art galleries and other small businesses; and supporting the work of independent Cuban organizations is the main intend of this Cuba tour.

You will engage in a full-time schedule of activities that will result in meaningful interaction with ordinary Cubans to learn about the Cuban culture; and Cuban entrepreneurs (self-employed Cubans) running privately-owned business such as private accommodation (Rooms-for Rent), restaurants (paladares), art galleries and stores.

You itinerary features authorized Support for the Cuban People activities of internationally recognized Cuban NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and independent organizations; out-reach community projects, and individuals that promote independent activity to strengthen the Cuban society.

The General License for Support for the Cuban People for US travel to Cuba is created through a do it yourself process rather than by submitting an application and awaiting approval. Fast, free and convenient, a General License for Support for the Cuban People simply requires US individuals to prepare their own documentation in a way that meets all OFAC guidelines.

We provide our US travelers with all the required documentation to ensure they are in compliance with 2019 Trump administration’s rules on Cuba travel under the US Cuba Travel category: Support for the Cuban People. US travelers can choose to depart to Cuba from any US port of their choosing.

US travelers relying on the General License for Support for the Cuban People are responsible for maintaining all Cuba travel records for up to 5 years to show OFAC (if asked) evidence that they have engaged in authorized activities while in Cuba (staying at accommodations not listed in the Restricted List of Cuban entities, eating at privately-owned restaurants, shopping at privately-owned art galleries and stores, etcetera).

At Authentic Cuba Travel®, we have updated our itineraries to make sure that American travelers are not directly or indirectly dealing with any of these prohibited entities. We do monitor constantly any updates to this list of entities to make sure our itineraries remain in compliance for our American customers.

U.S. Jazz Musicians Broke Record Attendance to the International Havana Jazz Festival



The Cuba’s Jazz Plaza in 2018 drew the largest number of American musicians ever!

US jazz musicians like Grammy Award winning singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Grammy award winning saxophonist Ted Nash, were in attendance. The presence of US acts is nothing new though as well-known US jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Arturo O’Farril (current director of the New York based Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra) have performed at previous editions of the festival just to mention some.

Ms. Bridgewater said at a news conference in Havana. “I am your sister in music and that is all I care about.” The prestigious US jazz singer referred to the role of American musicians in attendance to the Cuban jazz festival as cultural ambassadors. “My being here is my way of saying, yes, Cuba, yes, you all amazing musicians, I stand with you.” She described her presence at the festival as "an extension of Dizzy Gillespie’s love."

The jazz festival of Havana is a unique opportunity for US musicians to conduct workshops, musical exchanges, and master classes, and to learn, and share the staged with world-class Cuban jazz musicians such as Dayme Arrocena, Orchestra Aragon, or Grammy Award winner pianist Chucho Valdez, the director of the International Jazz Festival of Havana who headlined a concert with US tenor sax player Joe Lovano, one of the greatest whose first attendance to the Havana Jazz Festival dates back to 1986.

U.S. Travelers in Record Attendance to the Cuba's Jazz Plaza despite Hurricane Irma, USA- Cuba Travel Tightening and US Travel Warning



Despite the extensive damage of Irma, the worst hurricane to hit Cuba in decades causing large floods in Havana, millions of dollars in economic losses and the loss of 10 Cuban lives; despite the US Cuba Travel warning issued by the US State Department recommending US citizens not to visit Cuba due to risk of mysterious sonic attacks; despite the harsh rhetoric and tightening of USA Cuba travel regulations of the Trump administration, the 33th Havana Jazz Festival edition witnessed one of the largest number of Americans in the audience in its over 30 decade history.

As every year, Authentic Cuba Travel® facilitated legal travel services to Cuba for many of those thousands of US travelers who descended upon the island in 2019. Although we could not accommodate all those who wanted to come with us, due to our self-imposed quality-oriented limited capacity, we took great pride in the quality of service that we provided.

Our 2019 travelers have returned home with the best memories not only of the jazz festival but the cultural and educational experience we provided.

Some Destinations & Attractions included in your Jazz Festival Cuba Tour!










If it always has been on you bucket list to go to Cuba to attend the International Jazz Festival of Havana, and you are involved with a US University Jazz Ensemble or Jazz Band, Authentic Cuba Travel® will make your dreams come true. Authentic Cuba Travel® facilitated the Friends University Jazz Ensemble Cuba trip to Cuba in 2011. Do not miss the above documentary by Sierra Scott that showcases the entire journey.


Notice to US Recording Industry Associations, US Music Publishers’ Associations, US Musicians Associations, US Music Clubs, US Academies of Music, and other Music Institutes and Societies from USA



US Recording Industry Associations, US Music Publishers’ Associations, US Musicians Associations, US Music Clubs, US Academies of Music, and other Music Institutes and Societies from USA can organize a trip to Cuba under the provisions of the General License for Educational Activities, the General License for Support for the Cuban People, the General License for Professional Research, the General License for Public Performances, Clinics & Workshops, among others. Certain conditions are to be met to comply with OFAC General License requirements for each category of USA Cuba travel though.

The mission of your organization and the objective of your trip to Cuba determine under what general license you can travel to Cuba legally. In general, most trips should consist of a full-time schedule of activities intended to promote the exchange with the ordinary citizens of Cuba. This full-time schedule must also include educational activities that result in meaningful interaction in between U.S and Cuban nationals. Free time in excess or regular tourists' activities are not permitted.

We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

At Authentic Cuba Travel®, we have been organizing such educational and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success. Call us and let us know more about your organization and we will provide guidance and assistance.

For more Support for the Cuban People Cuba Tours from USA Click Here



  • Cuba Real Tour 1Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesJan 18- Jan 25, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 2Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesFeb 15- Feb 22, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 3Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesMar 14- Mar 21, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 4Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesApr 11- Apr 18, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 5Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesMay 16- May 23, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 6Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jun 13- Jun 20, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 7Havana, Las Terrazas & Vinales Jul 4- Jul 11, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 8Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesAug 15- Aug 22, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 9Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesSep 12- Sep 19, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 10Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesOct 10- Oct 17, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 11Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesNov 14- Nov 21, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Real Tour 12Havana, Las Terrazas & VinalesDec 26- Jan 2, 2021Book Now

  • Just a US traveler looking to go to Cuba on Support for the Cuban People tours?

  • Cuba Engage 1Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Jan 18- Jan 25, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 2Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Feb 15- Feb 22, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 3Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Mar 14- Mar 21, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 4Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Apr 11- Apr 18, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 5Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..May 16- May 23, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 6Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Jun 13- Jun 20, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 7Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Jul 4- Jul 11, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 8Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Aug 15- Aug 22, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 9Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Sep 12- Sep 19, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 10Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Oct 10- Oct 17, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 11Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Nov 14- Nov 21, 2020Book Now
  • Cuba Engage 12Havana, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad..Dec 26- Jan 2, 2021Book Now

  • CUBA JAZZ TOURS COMPARISON
  • 6 Day Havana Jazz Festival
    Cuba Tour 2020
    9 Day Havana Jazz Festival
    Cuba Tour 2020
  • Support for the Cuban People General License DocumentationSupport for the Cuban People General License Documentation
  • VIP Havana Jazz Festival PassVIP Havana Jazz Festival Pass
  • 9 Meals Included at Cuba’s finest privately-owned Restaurants15 Meals Included at Cuba’s finest privately-owned Restaurants
  • 24/7 Luxury Air-conditioned Motor Coach24/7 Luxury Air-conditioned Motor Coach
  • 24/7 English Speaking Guide24/7 English Speaking Guide
  • 24/7 Support from ACT Staff24/7 Support from ACT Staff

  • Hotels:
  • 4-Star Habana Riviera by Iberostar Hotels or 5-Star Melia Cohiba by Melia Hotels4-Star Habana Riviera by Iberostar Hotels or 5-Star Melia Cohiba by Melia Hotels and 4-Star Melia Jagua by Melia Hotels

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
  • TWO(2): Old Havana and Vinales Valley)FIVE(5):Old Havana, Vinales Valley, Cienfuegos Historical Centre, Trinidad Historical Centre & The Sugar Mill Valley

  • Support for the Cuban People Activities:
  • Exchanges with nongovernmental organizations in Havana such as Cabildo Quisicuaba, Vocal Clave de Sol, Santa Amalia Tap Club, Jaimanitas Community Project, Callejón de Hamel Community Project, Children Theatre Group: The Little Beehive, among others.

    Exchanges with independent organizations in Pinar del Rio such as Community Project El Patio de Pelegrin, among others.

    Engage with owners and staff at privately-owned stores, art galleries and studios in Havana and Vinales Valley such as Piscolabis Bazar-Cafe, Rox 950 Jewelry Store, Clandestina Store & Studio, Poco Bonito Art Gallery, AMOS Photography Gallery, Experimental Printing Workshop, among others.

    Exchanges with nongovernmental organizations in Havana such as Cabildo Quisicuaba, Vocal Clave de Sol, Santa Amalia Tap Club, Jaimanitas Community Project, Callejón de Hamel Community Project, Children Theatre Group: The Little Beehive, among others.

    Exchanges with independent organizations in Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Pinar del Rio such as Casa Templo de Santería Yemayá, Korimakao Community Project, Trazos Libres Community Project, Entre Hilos, Alas y Pinceles Community Project, El Patio de Pelegrin, among others.

    Engage with owners and staff at privately-owned stores, art galleries and studios in Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Vinales Valley such as Piscolabis Bazar-Cafe, Rox 950 Jewelry Store, Clandestina Store & Studio, Poco Bonito Art Gallery, Casa Huella Art Store, AMOS Photography Gallery, Experimental Printing Workshop, among others.

  • Attractions:
  • Guided Tours of Old Havana and Vinales Valley & Town.Guided Tours of Old Havana, Vinales Valley & Town, Cienfuegos, Trinidad & Sugar Mills Valley.

  • Price (All Taxes Included):
  • 4 Star Package Price: $1,999

    5 Star Package Price: $2,399
    4 Star Package Price: $2,499

    5 Star Package Price: $2,999
  • BOOK NOW!BOOK NOW!

  • 8 Day Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Cuba Tour 2020
  • Support for the Cuban People General License Documentation
  • All Access Santiago de Cuba Jazz Festival Pass
  • 13 Meals Included
  • 24/7 Luxury Air-conditioned Motor Coach, English Speaking Guide, Support from ACT Staff

  • Hotels:
  • 5-Star Melia Santiago by Melia Hotels

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
  • San Pedro de La Roca El Morro Castle

  • Support for the Cuban People Activities:
  • Exchanges with nongovernmental organizations in Santiago de Cuba such as Suenos y Fantasia (Dreams and Fantasies), El Cobre Youth Steel Band, Sonrisas (Smiles) Community Work Group, Community Project, Quiquiriqui Community Project, Children Literary Workshop Menique, Tumba Francesa Society, among others.

    Engage with owners and staff at privately-owned stores, art galleries and studios in Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo such as Escalera de Edy Antique Bookstore, Claustrofobias Digital Bookstores, Rene Valdes Art Gallery, Casa de La Ceramica Art Gallery, Carlos Rafael Studio & Art Gallery, among others.

  • Attractions:
  • Guided tours of Santiago de Cuba’s Historical Centre, San Pedro de La Roca Castle, Museum of Colonial History, Municipal Museum of History, La Granjita Siboney Museum , Moncada Barracks, Santa Ifigenia Cementery (1868), among others.

    Visits to the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, the Bacardi Rum Factory, Cayo Granma, among others.

  • Price (All Taxes Included):
  • 5 Star Package Price: $2,399
  • BOOK NOW!

  • Havana Jazz 2020 Cuba Tour
    Quick Facts & Highlights

    • Support for the Cuban People General License Documentation.
    • Full-Time Schedule of Support for the Cuban People Activities.
    • 5 Nights at 4-Star Riviera by Iberostar Hotels or 5-Star Cohiba by Melia Hotels.
    • 9 Meals Included at Cuba’s finest privately-owned restaurants:
      5 Breakfasts & 4 Lunches.
    • "All Access" VIP Jazz Pass to Attend All Festival Venues.
    • Luxury 24/7 Dedicated Air-conditioned Motor Coach and Driver.
    • An Expert Cuban English Speaking Guide and Translator
    • Support from Authentic Cuba Travel®' Staff in Cuba.
    • Guided tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Travel to Viñales Valley, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
    • Exchange with nongovernmental community project, Cabildo Quisicuaba.
    • Exchange with nongovernmental community project, Vocal Clave de Sol.
    • Exchange with independent community project, Santa Amalia Tap Club.
    • Exchange with independent Jaimanitas Community Project.
    • Exchange with nongovernmental Callejón de Hamel Community Project.
    • Exchange with independent Children Theatre Group, The Little Beehive.
    • Exchange with independent community project, El Patio de Pelegrin.
    • Visit to privately-owned Cuban store, Piscolabis Bazar-Cafe.
    • Visit to Rox 950, a privately-owned Cuban jewelry store.
    • Visit to Clandestina Store & Studio, Cuba’s first private store.
    • Visit to privately-owned Cuban store, Poco Bonito Gallery.
    • Visit to Experimental Printing Workshop, an independent workshop.
    • Visit to privately-owned Cuban store AMOS Photography Gallery.
    • Rub Shoulders with International & Cuban Jazz Musicians.
    • Unlimited Access to Activities of the Havana Jazz Festival 2020.
    • Premium Seats at the Opening Ceremony of the Jazz Festival.
    • Daily Attendance to Jazz Festival's Venues Across the City.
    • Premium Seats at the Closing Ceremony of the Jazz Festival.
    • Explore Finca La Vigia, where Hemingway Lived for Over 20 Years.
    • Guided tour of El Morro Fortress, built in the 16th Century.
    Leonardo Timor, founder of Jazz big band. Believe it or not, the Jazz festival of Havana also known as “Jazz Plaza” dates back from 1963! The Leonardo Timor Jazz Big Band was at the epicenter of the event which marked an awakening of the Cuban jazz scene at the time. This jazz event has helped to bring attention to many Cuban musicians. Many of the Cuban artists who have performed at Jazz Plaza have gone on to be nominated for and even receive Grammy awards within the Latin Jazz category, with Chucho Valdes certainly remaining among the most globally renowned of them all.
    Support for the Cuban People activity at the privately-owned AMOS Photography Gallery. We will visit the privately-owned AMOS Photography Gallery, and get up close and personal with the work of Ramses Batista, one of Cuba’s most well-established photographers today. As part of our Support for the Cuban People experience to Cuba, we will establish a dialogue with Ramses and his team to learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.
    Dayme Arocena, playing at the first Havana Jazz Festival. The 2018 Havana Jazz Festival Line-up included rising starts such as Cuban Jazz singer, Dayme Arocena who delivered a powerful performance at Casa de La Cultura. Dressed in the traditional Santeria ceremonial white attire, her story telling songs invoked deities of Santeria religion with loud crying Afro-Cuban chants displaying an array of voices: low, high, euphoric, halt. The music surrounding her from her trio was very unconventional though with harmonies reminiscent of the hardbop and Brazilian pop.
    Shopping at Havana's Alma Store, Supporting the Cuban People! We will engage in conversations with owners and staff at privately-owned stores like Alex Oppmann, a self-employed Cuban (cuentapropistas) businessman who runs Alma Shop, a privately-owned Cuban store where you can find some of the finest Cuban gifts and souvenirs (from jewelry to Cigar humidors). Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban people and the Cuban families financially while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba.
    Privately-owned Restaurants, Support for The Cuban People Tours & Travel A new wave of paladares (privately-owned restaurants) has recently swept the Cuban dining scene offering excellent food and charming ambient. We’ll enjoy an array of delicious meals at Cuba’s most stylish paladares during our Support for the Cuban People trips. This is a unique opportunity to establish dialogues with local restaurateurs and learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.
    Panoramic Streets in Old Havana, Cuba. Our fast track Cuba tour to the Havana Jazz Festival includes CASH FREE entrance to Havana’s top-notch attractions. With guided tours of Old Havana, Spanish Fortresses, Hemingway’s House, Cigar Factories, the Square of Revolution, and many more included in the price of the trip, our condensed Cuba Jazz tour offers the best that Havana and the Havana Jazz Festival have to offer for those North American travelers who have a limited budget or are short on time. No compromise!
    Rox 950 Jewellery store, a privately-owned Cuban jewelry store, Support for The Cuban People travel As part of our Support for the Cuban People travel, we pay a visit to Rox 950 Jewellery store, a privately-owned Cuban jewelry store run by Cuban self-employed (cuentapropistas), designer and business woman, Rosana Vargas.
    Dee Dee Bridgewater performing at Havana Jazz Festival 2018. The Cuba’s Jazz Plaza in 2018 drew the largest number of American musicians ever! US jazz musicians like Grammy Award winning singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Grammy award winning saxophonist Ted Nash, were in attendance. The presence of US acts is nothing new though as well-known US jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Arturo O’Farril (current director of the New York based Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra) have performed at previous editions of the festival just to mention some.
    Jazz musicians at the Havana Jazz Festivals, Cuba. U.S. travelers were in record attendance to the Cuba's Jazz Plaza 2018 despite hurricane Irma, USA Cuba travel tightening and US travel warning. As every year, Authentic Cuba Travel® facilitated legal travel services to Cuba for many US travelers who descended upon the island. Our travelers return home with the best memories not only of the jazz festival but the cultural and educational Cuba travel experience we provide.
    Privately-owned Cuban shops, Support for The Cuban People Tours & Travel We will pay a visit to Piscolabis Bazar-Café, a privately-owned Cuban bazaar and coffee shop run by self-employed (cuentapropista) Cuban fashion designer Sandra De Huelbes to shop for some exclusive clothing and accessories as well as unique souvenirs and local handicrafts.
    Vedado hotels Riviera and Melia Cohiba, offer the best location to explore the Havana Jazz Festival. Overlooking the ocean, the 4-star Riviera Hotel and the 5-star Melia Cohiba Hotel, plunges the American jazz lovers with an adventurous spirit into the Havana jazz activities galore. Jazz travelers to Cuba can walk, take a 5-minute taxi ride or complimentary bus ride to all the venues hosting the Havana Jazz Festival “Jazz Plaza 2020”.
    Read Reviews & Testimonials from participants of the Havana Jazz Festival. "The Havana Jazz Fest tour exceeded our expectations. The music was fabulous and we got to see and learn a lot about Cuban history and culture from our outstanding guide Eric Garcia. Angel, our bus driver was always in the right place, on time, friendly and courteous. We also enjoyed the specialist guides we met at Sugar Mill Valley, Habana Vieja, the College of Arts, the Cigar Factory and the tobacco farm. We learned a great deal and our perspectives evolved during the trip in very positive ways. Thank you for all your help and guidance in planning our trip. It was a wonderful experience!" Andy and Regina Deutch (USA) Jazz Festival Tour - January 2018
    Dizzy Gillespie at the Havana Jazz Festival Jazz Plaza. Tonight the International Jazz Festival of Cuba 2020 kicks off. Jazz history will be made and new names will be added to the prestigious list of national and international Jazz musicians that have performed on regular basis at the event such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Danilo Perez, Chucho Valdes and many others.
    Cuba travel from USA can be life-changing when you have the time to really explore and experience this authentic Cuba destination. Our Cuba Jazz programs give you that precious moments, and today we are off on a 2hr bus ride to UNESCO World Heritage site, Vinales Valley. You’ll always remember driving through its up-and-down winding roads carved between flat top mountain hills (mogotes), looking at the tobacco farm houses in the valley, gliding through the Indian Cave underground river, admiring the breathtaking views, and talking to the new torrent of Cuban entrepreneurs taking over town.
    Prestigious Jazz Musicians at the Havana Jazz Festival. The Havana Jazz Festival 2010 was attended by over twenty international Jazz bands such as the Chico O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra- led by younger Arturo O’ Farril, the University of Texas Jazz Orchestra, the Joaquín Betancourt’s Jazz Band and the Michael Fleiner’s Latin Jazz Septet.
    Chucho Valdes, president of the Havana Jazz Festival Cuban musician Chucho Valdes, president of the Organizing Committee of the Havana Jazz Festival, won his eigth Grammy Award in 2011 for best album of Latin jazz. CD "Chucho Steps", recorded with his new band Mensajeros Afrocubanos, under the label Concord Picante.
    Day 1. Wednesday 15 January 2020.
    Ultimate Havana Jazz Festival Cuba Tour
    Welcome to Havana, an open-air museum city that can be a jarring collision of historical and modern scenes at times and bursting with spellbinding music for sure. Your jazz festival Cuba tour begins!

    This evening we attend the Opening Ceremony of the Havana International Jazz Festival. We recommend you book a morning or afternoon flight to Havana, if booking flights on your own.

    US travelers can make flight arrangements out of Miami, Charlotte, New York, Newark, Atlanta, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Boston (USA), Cancun (Mexico) and Toronto (Canada).

    Meet your Authentic Cuba Travel® tour manager and motor coach driver, a 24/7 dedicated Cuban team with over 10 year experience in the USA Cuba’s travel industry.

    Enjoy a ride to your hotel located in the Vedado District, Havana’s Downtown core and the cultural powerhouse of the Cuba’s capital. All theatres, concert halls, and clubs hosting the Cuba jazz festival are located here. Many of Havana’s larger attractions are also located in the Vedado district, so it’s an essential part of any visit not only to the Havana Jazz Festival but to Havana.

    Overlooking the ocean, the 4-star Riviera Hotel and the 5-star Melia Cohiba Hotel, plunges the American jazz lovers with an adventurous spirit into the Havana jazz activities galore. Jazz travelers to Cuba can walk, take a 5-minute taxi ride or the complimentary bus ride to all the venues hosting the Havana Jazz Festival “Jazz Plaza 2020”.

    Then we will go shopping to some of Havana’s most recognized privately-owned stores. Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban people and the Cuban families financially while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba.

    First we will meet with Alex Oppmann, a self-employed Cuban (cuentapropistas) businessman who runs Alma Shop, a privately-owned Cuban store where you can find some of the finest Cuban gifts and souvenirs (from jewelry to Cigar humidors).

    Then we will meet with Rosana Vargas, a Cuban self-employed (cuentapropistas), designer and business woman who owns Rox 950 Jewellery Store, a privately-owned Cuban jewelry store.

    Before heading back to our hotel we will pay a visit to Clandestina Store and Studio, the first privately-owned store opened in Cuba in 2015, run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropistas) Idania del Rio and Leire Fernandez to buy some unique Cuban fashion clothing.

    A once-in-a-lifetime Cuba jazz travel calls for a once-in-a-lifetime Cuba jazz experience. With opening concerts kicking off at Havana’s premier theatres and concert halls and an impressive line-up of famed Cuban and international Jazz musicians headlining, the biggest jazz festival of Latin America, the 2020 Havana Jazz Festival opens up tonight.

    Best of all, you have fast-track access to all with your VIP ALL ACCESS Havana Jazz Pass, pampered by your 24/7 dedicated Cuban team who handles all arrangements for you! It is the ultimate Havana jazz festival Cuba tour and it is only with Authentic Cuba Travel®.

    For many years, Authentic Cuba Travel® has been creating life changing cultural and people-to-people educational Cuba tours around the Havana Jazz Festival for those North American travelers who want to experience the authentic Latin Jazz and the authentic Cuba beyond sightseeing.

    Please remember that your breakfast is included and you can enjoy it anytime from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
    Day 2. Thursday 16 January 2020.
    Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    Morning: As part of our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities organized by Cabildo Quisicuaba, a Cuban community project under the direction of Dr. Enrique Alemán Gutiérrez and its team of more than 74 health professionals and social workers that volunteer their time to the project. Promoting the community involvement in the preservation of the Cuban identity and its culture through different out-reach activities in Centro Habana municipality, the Cabildo Quisicuaba has made possible the creation of a community library, an amusement park for children, a community theatre troupe, 7 dancing and performing art groups, as well as several workshops.

    We will meet with and enjoy the musical offerings of a local children's chorus or even the rapping abuelitas (grandmothers). This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Centro Habana community in Havana, Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their work in the USA.

    With our JAZZ CUBA TRAVEL PACKAGES (which include express entrance to most Havana’s attractions and activities as described in the day-to-day Cuba itinerary), an introduction to the 18-year-old Scale Model of Old Havana by renown Cuba architect and urban planner, Miguel Coyula strikes a nice balance between visiting a world-class museum and providing the kind of people-to-people educational Cuba experience that has given our Cuba tours great popularity among travelers, organizations and educational institutions from USA.

    Featured Lunch: a new wave of paladares (privately-owned restaurants) has recently swept the Cuban dining scene offering excellent food and charming ambient. Today we’ll enjoy a welcome lunch at the stylish La California, one of Havana's top ten private restaurants.

    This is a unique opportunity to see how Cuban entrepreneurship is reshaping the dilapidated Cuban culinary industry one dish at a time. As part of your lunch and your Support for the Cuban People experience to Cuba, we will establish a dialogue with local restaurateurs to learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.

    Afternoon: how long does it take to fall in love with a Cuban destination? With Old Havana, especially in ‘winter', it can be love at first sight.

    Whether it’s an urban adventure through Havana’s colonial architecture, sipping refreshing mojitos at the many of the bars and restaurants or listening to Cuban musicians paving the old cobble-stone streets in the historical centre, Old Havana, this UNESCO World Heritage site has mastered how to make the best of an Authentic Cuba walking tour.

    At 500 years young, Old Havana is the largest and best preserved colonial core in Latin America. The distinctive colonial plazas, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de La Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco or Plaza Vieja - surrounded by an impressive array of historical buildings like the San Cristobal Cathedral of Havana, the Palace of the Captain Generals or the Fortress of the Royal Force- make the UNESCO World Heritage site of La Habana Vieja a welcome lesson in the early days of Havana and Cuban history.

    Your Cuba Jazz Festival tour guide on this 2 hr stroll around the historical centre will share the story of how this area that Spanish settlers established in 1519 as no more than a meeting point for Spanish ships waiting for the right season to cross the Atlantic back home soon became the epicentre of all the trade in between Spain and the Spanish colonies in Central, South and North America.

    A shaded indoor visit to the Experimental Printing Workshop can help balance out the hot- weather exploration of Old Havana. With the Havana jazz festival Cuba tours, Authentic Cuba Travel® offers a friendly atmosphere for US visitors to engage with ordinary Cubans in Support for the Cuban People exchanges.

    Part of what makes our jazz trips to Cuba from US so special is the Cuban people we introduced the American travelers to. Next we will introduce you to the teachers and students of a local primary school in Old Havana. You will learn more about Cuba’s education system and programs.

    Those US visitors to Cuba looking for Cuban souvenirs to bring back home will appreciate our next visit to the Old Havana’s Mercado de Artesanias located in a 20th century shipping warehouse. Although traveling to Cuba from USA for tourist activities is not permitted under the Trump Administration’s USA Cuba Travel Regulations, it is perfectly legal to import art work and crafts bought directly from Cuban entrepreneurial artisans.

    Next we will pay a visit to Piscolabis Bazar-Café, a privately-owned Cuban bazaar and coffee shop run by self-employed (cuentapropista) Cuban fashion designer Sandra De Huelbes to shop for some exclusive clothing and accessories as well as unique souvenirs and local handicrafts. Shopping in these sorts of stores directly supports the Cuban people and the Cuban families financially while encouraging independent entrepreneurial activities that in turn strengthen civil society in Cuba.

    The array objects for sale are as diverse as the team of Cuban artists that produce them. Supporting these Cuban creators is the main objective of our shopping visits. While sipping on Cuban coffee, we will engage with our Cuban hosts in conversations to learn more about their approach to empower artistic creation inspired by Cuban culture.

    Evening: the great appeal and excitement of the International Jazz Festival of Havana 2020 that attracts both tourists and locals has to do with the array of concerts that explode through the city during the 5 nights of the event. Authentic Cuba Travel® will provide you with the Official Havana Jazz Schedule 2020 before departure so that you have an idea of the jazz concerts you will attend. Do not forget your Havana Jazz Festival ALL ACCESS VIP PASS!
    Day 3. Friday 17 January 2020.
    Havana Jazz Escapes
    Morning: as part of our Support for the Cuban People trip to Cuba, we will engage in authorized Support for the Cuban People activities organized by Vocal Clave de Sol, a world-acclaimed Cuban community project founded by Nuria and Yamile Garcia in 2009. Promoting independent musical education in San Agustin, a community in Havana lacking in recreational and artistic venues for the youth, this independent organization started with just 9 members (ages 7 to 16) and has grown to more than 200 now.

    During our visit we will engage with the members to learn more about the role of this nongovernmental organization in promoting traditional Cuban music and culture in the community. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of San Agustin community in Havana, Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items, enjoy a special performance by the students, and ask how we can help promoting their work in the USA.

    A visit to Cojimar –a humble fishing town in Eastern Havana- is an excuse to reflect on the life of Ernest Hemingway, one of America’s most honored authors and one of Cuba’s most respected American visitors. A guided tour will exceed the expectations of even the most discerning US traveler. Your Havana Jazz Festival tour guide will tell stories of how a local fisherman inspired Hemingway to write one of the bestselling novels of the 20th century, The Old Man and The Sea. Hemingway earned the Pulitzer Price for Fiction award in 1953 and Nobel Prize for Literature award in 1954 with this novel.

    Our Jazz escape to Havana’s coastal town is sure to finish with a drink (optional) at Las Terrazas, Hemingway’s preferred bar restaurant in Cojimar.

    We will have lunch at another privately-owned restaurant, Paladar Casa Grande serving delicious Cuban food in a charming environment. As part of our lunch and our Support for the Cuban People experience to Cuba, we will establish a dialogue with local restaurateurs and staff to learn how they have been able to reconcile the socialist centralized economy with the demands of the free market in the booming private Cuban hospitality industry.

    Afternoon: the recognition that Finca La Vigia (La Vigia Farmhouse) has received celebrates both being the birthplace of Hemingway‘s most important literary works -The Old Man and The Sea, Islands in the Stream, For Whom the Bell Tolls- and the home of the famed American author for over 20 years. Nestled in the heart of a Havana’s humble town, San Francisco de Paula, this unique property is the Ernest Hemingway Museum today.

    Another top-notch attraction of our Jazz trips to Cuba is a guided tour of this 19th century property that Ernest Hemingway bought in 1940. It is not hard to picture Hemingway being inspired here, whether in the writing room at the top of a tower next to the main house with killer views or in his bedroom standing in front of a book cabinet. Typewriters, books, pictures, hunting trophies and other possessions seat undisturbed by time and visitors since 1959.

    As part of our Support for the Cuban People travel to Cuba, we have scheduled a private exchange with the organizers and children of the The Little Beehive, a children theatre group, located in Vedado neighborhood. This world renowned independent theatrical group, official UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, has performed extensively around the globe and even in the United States recently. The children and teachers will engage in a lively chat with our tour participants and even perform a play in English. What a treat! We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their message of peace in the USA.

    Evening: enjoy the magic of Havana city at night as you explore the array of venues hosting the Cuba’s Jazz Plaza 2020 tonight. Armed with the Official Havana Jazz Festival Calendar 2020 in hand, your Cuban team will facilitate fast-track entrance to the Havana Jazz venue of your choosing. Please do remember your Havana Jazz Festival ALL ACCESS VIP PASS!
    Day 4. Saturday 18 January 2020.
    Vinales Valley, UNESCO Heritage Site
    Cuba travel from USA can be life-changing when you have the time to really explore and experience this authentic Cuba destination. Our Cuba Jazz programs give you that precious moments, and today we are off on a 2hr bus ride to UNESCO World Heritage site, Vinales Valley. You’ll always remember driving through its up-and-down winding roads carved between flat top mountain hills (mogotes), looking at the tobacco farm houses in the valley, gliding through the Indian Cave underground river, admiring the breathtaking views, and talking to the new torrent of Cuban entrepreneurs taking over town.

    En route to Vinales Valley, we will visit El Patio de Pelegrin, the outreach community project and brainchild of Cuban painter Mario Pelegrin. This humble privately-owned art gallery and pottery workshop in Consolacion del Sur Municipality (Western Cuba) has turned into a powerhouse for the promotion of cultural and artistic projects in this countryside community.

    During this visit we will engage with Mario Pelegrin and his team to learn more about the role of this independent organization in Pinar del Rio. This Support for the Cuban People activity will result in a meaningful interaction with the individuals of Consolacion del Sur, Cuba. We will present donations of educational & humanitarian items and ask how we can help promoting their work in the USA.

    Upon arriving at Vinales town, we will enjoy a delicious traditional countryside lunch at the privately-owned bar-restaurant Paladar Yuri & Nino, El Campesino. Yuri is a young woman entrepreneur who started this small restaurant that has expanded into a large establishment. Yuri and her family work hard to create delicious and plentiful food that comes with a beautiful mountain view.

    Love cigars? Be sure to follow your Havana Jazz Festival tour guide around tobacco fields and tobacco drying houses in this region that grows the best tobacco in the world and where the only thing more intriguing than hand-rolling Habanos are the traditional methods of growing and drying tobacco. On this tobacco heritage tour of Western Cuba, you will also discover how the local farmers used to trade tobacco with neighbor islands through the Caribbean Sea before the independence from Spain. Meeting with farmers as they go about their daily routines is also a great chance for the American visitors to learn more about the life of ordinary Cuban farmers in the countryside.

    Get up-close to mogotes, subterranean rivers, and pre-Hispanic Cuba`s history! You will come face-to-face with stalagmites and stalactites formations as you descend into the Indian Cave –former burial grounds of the Guanahatabey people, aboriginals of this area before the arrival of the Spaniards. After a guided boat ride through the underground river, you will exit through a gift shop.

    The People-to-people General License implemented by the Obama administration brought about a boom of bed-and-breakfasts (Casas Particulares), family restaurants (Paladares), and other small ventures ran by Cuban entrepreneurs independently from the central government. Individual US travelers just booked through AirBnB or TripAdvisor and they were set to go.

    Unfortunately the Trump administration put an end to this type of license and that is putting pressure on the incipient private sector of Vinales and Cuba in general. For the next hours, we will meet with young Cuban entrepreneurs in Vinales Downtown to learn firsthand about the new reality.

    Next we will head back to Havana city to get ready for tonight Havana Jazz Festival events and concerts.

    Evening: discover how the Havana’s Jazz Plaza 2020 evolved to be the biggest International jazz festival in Latin America as you become familiar with Havana’s Theatres, Jazz Clubs and Venues hosting the festival. The 2020 Official Havana Jazz Festival Line-Up will guide you through the night! Keep your ALL ACCESS VIP PASS handy!
    Day 5. Sunday 19 January 2020.
    Cuba Jazz Tours, Cuban Arts Escapes
    Morning: US visitors who travel to many authentic Cuban destinations and try different Cuba travel experiences tend to be more interesting to others than those (80% or so) who simply go to Cuba as tourists (a big no-no for those who want to visit Cuba legally from USA) and stay in beach resorts for the entirety of their Cuba vacation.

    A key element of our authentic Cuba tours that sets our Cuba travel company apart from the rest it is the escapes that we make into the most humble yet genuine neighbourhoods of Cuba to discover authentic traditions and get to know the real Cuban people. And we are about to experience another one of those adventures as we visit Santa Amalia neighbourhood where a group of elder dancers have maintain tap dancing alive in Cuba for decades. Now they will display their dancing skills to live Jazz music. We will spend the morning exchanging with members of the Santa Amalia Community Project and the Santa Amalia Tap Club.

    For a unique and captivating scope of Cuban arts, we will visit the privately-owned studios of Havana’s most famed painters, sculptors and photographers. Whether is an up-close and personal look into the life and work of Alicia Leal, Juan Moreira or Cirenaica Moreira, or an intimate discussion with Ernesto Benitez, Jaqueline and Yamilis Brito, this Cuba jazz travel experience will be a momentous occasion in our travelers’ life that will broaden their horizons beyond Cuban jazz music.

    Once back home, Americans joining our Cuba tours tell the story of their journey through Cuba, as they discover the cultural side to this great country. Those travelers joining our jazz escapes to Havana from USA understand the breadth and depth of the Cuban culture, not only by attending amazing jazz concerts in Havana every night, exploring interesting destinations but experiencing people-to-people exchanges with great Cuban folks they meet every day such as Cuban artist, Jose Fuster, our host for the next hour or so.

    Our first visit will be to the Jaimanitas Communit Project, in the seaside town of Jaimanitas, not a mainstream destination for Cuba’s tourism, the place Fuster calls home. For over a decade, this authentic Cuba’s artist has been decorating every single standing structure in town. From the humble houses of local fishermen to the local community clinic, ceramic murals, paintings and installations embellish the coastal village.

    The authenticity of the Caribbean Picasso (as Fuster is oft referred as) can be felt even in the sea breeze that envelopes his privately-owned studio which we will visit next.

    Arguably serving the best Creole food in Cuba, today’s complimentary lunch will be served at El Aljibe restaurant, which garnered international attention after an appearance on US TV Show NO RESERVATIONS hosted by late chef Anthony Bourdain.

    We will visit the privately-owned AMOS Photography Gallery, and get up close and personal with the work of Ramses Batista. We will revisit Mr. Batista’s 20-plus-year career featuring portraiture, social documentary, religion, landscapes, and nudes. Supporting these Cuban entrepreneurs is the main objective of our Support for the Cuban People trips.

    For some time, the Callejon de Hammel Community Project has been overlooked as anything but a stopover to hear the frenetic Rumba music and dancing that kicks off on Sundays. But as the participants in our jazz trips to Havana discover, this Afro-Cuban inspired gaudy alley reinvents itself every day under the artistic direction of Salvador Gonzales, a Cuban muralist whose work can also be found in New York’s buildings. Colourful murals, sculptures and installations can be found everywhere.

    Evening: attend the closing ceremony of the 35th International Jazz Festival of Havana 2020. Please, do not forget your ALL ACCESS VIP PASS.
    Day 6. Monday 20 January 2020.
    Good Bye Cuba!
    Today marks the end of your Support for the Cuban People Jazz adventure. Your Cuban guide and bus driver will escort you to the International Airport for departure.

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