"Cuba-once the land of the one US dollar notes" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuba by Luchonda

Cuba Travel Guide: 5,233 reviews and 12,922 photos

Cuba in a nutshell

Visiting Cuba is visiting a paradise.
One thing is for sure - it is a save country to visit - and has a lot to offer.
Nothing against Varadero - but this is not the real Cuba.
Cuba is a country to visit bit by bit - see people - enjoy life - enjoy music - simply a not western way of living!!
Stay in Casa Particulares, be guest at a Cuban family . Have diner in Paladars, small private restaurants and better than the official resto's in the streets or hotels and talk to the people, get close to the Cubans and their lives.....La Vida Cubana
I'm exited to revisit Cuba in december 2003 and meet a friend called Rosa Ana - living in Havana

About seashells -claves and Son/Salsa

Cuban music patrimony is a mix of Spanish, “pure afro” and “African French” influences.
Yes even in the later centuries influenced by the Chinese workers who were the latest “slaves”of
Cuba. (Small detail – those Chinese were transported by Belgian ships (Bricks) to Cuba
because they guaranteed the highest quote of survivors.)
Music : It all started before the island was discovered.
The originals made music or rather say sounds by seashells they found on the beaches
On the fields – the former farmers made a hole in the ground – covering it with animal skins
in which they centered their primitive bows – so the first bass guitar was born. The typical sound was even extended by putting frogs in the hole! )
The Island was discovered and colonized by the Spanish conquistadors and the Spanish colonists imported their way of lyrics – but more important
their musical instruments – like the guitar (Tres) and the violin into the country.
Dance music (read “Compte or saloon music) became popular – read guajira/zapateo and habanera (Bizet’s Carmen) The local rich sugar cane farmers had time and were awaiting the next transport wave coming from Europe
Slavery trading of African slaves extended the use of instruments like the drums called the “bata” or Bongo – the influence of French farmers and their slaves coming from French Haiti is not to be underestimated.
Typical Cuban music is that they use anything possible to make music.
Wood (claves) – drums ( animal skins) or even metal parts (cowbell)
Nice to know is that the two wooden pieces (claves) are very popular but are symbolic.
The pieces should produce a different sound – one higher than the other.
The highest is the female stick – the other one the male.Put the female part in your hand and make a kind of “Echo hall” with your palm.
This piece (female) must be hit by the male part !
Another popular musical instrument is the Güiro – the gourd of the fruit tree. A small stick hits this instrument.
Further in the evolution:
A “marriage” of guitar and bata became reality as from the independency period more than half of the “free population” was black !
And as from than there was a fast evolution in music and dancing.
-The Rumba and the more romantic “trova” became popular (1920)
-The Mambo in 1940 (bandleader Perez Prado)
-The ChaChaCha in the fifties (Enrique Jorrin)
-The Cu-bob or bebob in the sixties (Beny Moré)
After the revolution - music industry and evolution was limited
and a lot of top performers stopped.
An American folksinger called Pete Seeger reinspired the tradition
by his song “Guantanamera” – a song of Fernandez and based on the lyrics of José Marti
Popular music today
Go to the Casa de la Trova - Salsa Clubs - enjoy the evenings and dream away on the rytmh of the performers.
I call the dancers on this music "Snake people" because they know how to express their feelings

Son Trinitario

This island in the Caribbeans is a must for music lovers - visit the temples of music - the so called "Casa de la Trova" and enjoy the music of bands like Son Trinitario with their songs :
-La vida es un Carnaval
-Dulce Habanera
-Ne me quitte pas
-Oye las tonadas

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The most uncommercial Island of the Caribbeans
  • In a nutshell:Land of my dreams - coming from a commercial country
  • Last visit to Cuba: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated Apr 29, 2005
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Reviews (54)

Comments (51)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    great tips!

  • white_smallstar's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Thanks a lot Luc for this trip in advance to this beautiful island. Now I can’t wait for a real trip over there!
    Greetings from Italy
    **Nico**

  • condorito's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    Nice page thanks

  • Feb 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Not your typical page. liked the insights into Cuba, not just photos and descriptions of the main tourist sites. :)

  • Valeggua's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    hi Luc, What a wonderfull pages about Cuba! I enjoyed reading your tips and viewing you pictures. Now I feel like going there again!! Groetjes Valerie

  • juliewong's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2007 at 3:56 AM

    Hi, great reviews of Cuba. Thanks for visit my page.

  • patnoelle's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2007 at 12:10 PM

    Pretty page about my country... It is beautiful in many respects, landscapes, food, music, but mostly because of its people. I respect your views but I do not agree with your idealism of Che... Want to learn more?

  • Diana75's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2007 at 11:17 AM

    Fantastic pages and pictures, Luc. I really enjoyed reading about the fascinating Cuba and I hope I'll have the chance to see all those fantastic places one day.

  • jasperdo's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2006 at 2:42 PM

    Been looking at your Cuba pages. They truly are wonderful. They show what an interesting place Cuba is. Hopefully, I'll be able to travel there someday. I'd love to stroll around Old Havana. Thanks for commenting on my Great Falls, Mt. page.

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2006 at 4:26 AM

    Lady Salsa: the hottest musical show from Cuba: 11 en 12 mei in de Elisabeth zaal in Antwerpen! (www.elisabethzaal.be)

Luchonda

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