When most people think of Cuba they think of classic cars, Che, beaches and maybe even cocktails. Few people think of museums. What they don’t know is that the nation’s capital, Havana, is a haven for culture-vultures, history fanatics and art aficionados.
Carnival season may be coming to a close across much of the world, but in Cuba the party hasn’t even begun.
In most Roman Catholic countries, Carnival is a pre-Lenten festival; a time of excess before 40 days of austerity. But in typical Cuban style, things on the island are a little different, with celebrations taking place throughout the summer in various towns and cities. Lucky for you, that leaves plenty of time to organise your Carnival trip.
Whether you find yourself in drizzly London, bustling Barcelona or frenetic Hong Kong, you can’t help but sail away to a sunny Caribbean beach when you hear the mellow and rounded beat of bongos. Cuba is the land of percussion: life on the tropical island is soundtracked by the Afro-Cuban rhythms of rumba, Son, Timba, Guaguancó and everything in between. All these percussion-based musical genres meet at Fiesta del Tambor, a Havana festival and competition that showcases the work of both famous and debutant instrumentalists eager to show off their skills on the tambores (drums). If your feet (or at least your heart!) vibrate to the beat of batás, bongos, or drums, this is the event for you!