One of our readers contacted us with a good question:
I’m looking for information regarding taking drumming lessons in Cuba.
Could you please recommend a facility or person in Cuba that would offer a week or two experience?
Here are our advices… just continue reading!
First of all, go there prepared: Cuba is the country where everyone is playing and dancing and plenty of people will offer to give you lessons, but few would probably be good teachers.
So it’s important to do some researches first if you want to get the most out of your conga vacation there 🙂
One option is to go with an organized trip.
At first they may look really expensive, but the connections that the organizers have, as well as their years of experience, are priceless.
It can be very difficult to make the difference from being a visiting outsider, to being something of an insider, actually getting to be trusted and accepted.
The teachers provided by these tours are known for being excellent, experienced and knowledgeable.
The benefit of the group leader experience and the connections you make are worth the added expense alone, but aside from that you’re getting relatively nice accommodations, plus there are great group events.
Some recommended tours:
- Ritmacuba is a French organization which organizes a great music/dance and percussion program in Santiago de Cuba. Our reader Joyce took classes as part of their program in both 2008 and 2009 and will repeat this year too!
They have an excellent program with great teachers. They organize events and “get you in” to places and with people that the independent person would be highly unlikely to be able to do. Also, this year they have been invited by the City of Santiago de Cuba to participate in Carnaval.
More info here.
- Chuck Silverman’s 2 weeks program in Cuba.
- PlazaCuba programs at this page.
- Boogalu productions Cuba travels.
There are other ways of studying in Cuba, especially if you want to stay in Cuba for a longer time and you prefer to “do it yourself” maybe staying in guest houses.
A great one is to get in touch with the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional.
They give workshops in Havana and it’s also a great place to find great players for private lessons.
Workshops are at the International Folklore Laboratories in Havana, 15 days of rhythm begining on the third monday in January and the first monday in July.
Contact details are:
Calle 4 #103 e/ 5ta y Calzada, Vedado C.P 10400
Plaza de la Revolución, Ciudad de La Habana
(537) 8313467 / 8334560 / 8303
FAX (537) 34395
Correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org
Juan García Fernández – Director Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba
Did you had conga classes in Cuba already? Let us know your experience!