The Havana Jazz Festival is a unique event that brings together some of the best musicians from all over Cuba and Latin America. It's a melting pot of different cultures and sounds, with a sophisticated syncopation that is unlike any other. During this five-day event, you'll be able to experience many different styles of music and see some of the best artists from around the world. The festival was first organized in 1987 by a group of Cuban jazz musicians led by Bobby Caracasses.
Since then, it has grown to become one of the most popular jazz festivals in the world. Many of the Cuban artists who have performed at JazzPlaza have been nominated for and even won Grammy Awards in the Latin Jazz category, with Chucho Valdés being one of the most recognized worldwide. In 1974, Irakere embarked on a historic tour of the United States sponsored by Columbia's CBS, playing at several American jazz festivals, including those in Newport and Montreal. This tour helped to bring attention to Cuban jazz music and its artists, and it was during this time that Luciano Chano Pozo emerged as one of the most famous jazz artists of the time.
In 1996, Chucho Valdés became artistic director of the International Jazz Festival Plaza de La Habana and president of the Organizing Committee with Alexis Vázquez Aguilera as vice-president. This event has helped to attract attention to many Cuban musicians, while also spreading the music of international artists all over the island. In preparation for the main events, young musicians participate in the Jo Jazz/Young Jazz music competition. The atmosphere of the festival extends far beyond the concert halls, with improvised sessions that satiate jazz-lovers along the streets of the Malecón until late at night.
Cuban jazzis is listened to and performed with pleasure by fans from all over the world. Joining this annual event exposes you to the incredible rhythms of Afro-Latin jazzy that you will only find on the largest island in the Caribbean and will allow you to rub shoulders with jazz-greats from around the world.Cuban jazz musicians such as pianist Frank Emilio Felipe, Pucho Escalante and Dulzaides worked to keep jazz alive, with Dulzaides training many young musicians. I loved my tour and had an amazing opportunity to get to know Cuba and experience its stellar Havana Jazz Festival.