CUBA - Music Study Camp


Date: Jan 17-27 2025
Venue: Havana and Matanzas 
Leaders: Jesus Bello, Adriana Letamendi & Obini Bata, members of Grupo Afro Cuba...El Almacen and Karla Mundy 
Price: $ + GST (covers in country costs but does not cover airfare)


SongRoutes is offering an intensive musical study trip in Matanzas and Havana designed for people who love to sing and dance. This trip will serve as an introduction to several singing and dancing traditions. Applicants must be hearty & easy going travellers who love to learn music by ear and dance every day! Due to the difficult economic situation in Cuba, we will be prepared to be flexible and adventurous.

Cuba is famous for the incredible richness of its musical traditions and innovations. It truly is one of the world's musical hot spots. On this trip we will be exploring popular & folkloric singing and dancing styles - son, rumba, traditional Afro-Cuban. We will also get to experien

With several world class professional choirs in Havana alone and a well-developed and nurtured music education system - Cuba has a very rich and beautiful choral music scene. We are lucky to have the opportunity to study with several of Cuba's top musical directors who share their incredible passion, skill and excellence so generously.

All participants will receive a package of Cuban choral music to study ahead of time (for those of us in Vancouver, we would have some pre-study sessions throughout the year) and we will arrive in Cuba feeling comfortable with all of the music and lyrics. We will provide recordings of the lyrics spoken and recordings of the pieces.  We will work with world class Cuban choral directors in Havana and Matanzas and we will be meeting, hearing and performing with their professional choirs.

Our study portion of the trip would consist of..

-8-9 choral rehearsals with Alina Orraca (director of Schola Cantorum Coralina), Maribel Nodarse (director of female professional choir Vocal Luna) and Jose Mendez (director of Coro De Camara in Matanzas)

-4-5 dance classes and 2-3 drumming classes in Havana and Matanzas (salsa dance, Afro-Cuban dance and drum.  In Havana we would study with members of Obini Bata (all women Afro-Cuban music and dance group) and in Matanzas we would study with past and present members of Grupo Afro-Cuba and Los Muñequitos de Matanzas.

-optional conducting classes or instrument study

-we would perform in 2-3 concerts

Cultural activities would include

-City tour plus optional museum visits, attending Afro-Cuban performances in Matanzas and meeting the Artist Collective 'El Almacen' , meeting with Theatre group in Havana, visiting a music school, seeing Fusterlandia, going out to La Fabrica and definitely at least one beach day.


A typical day would have one choir rehearsal, either a dance class or instrument/conducting study and some kind of cultural/social event. We will spend the first week in Havana where we will do the bulk of our choral music study (March 16-23) and then we will head to Matanzas for the last three days (Mar 23-26) to soak up the incredible Afro-Cuban music and enjoy some time on the beach.

We will stay in case particulars (private homes) and eat delicious home cooked food - the best way to experience Cuba! In Havana, we will stay in a collection of homes that are all within 2-3 blocks of each other in the heart of the famous Vedado neighbourhood. We will be several blocks away from the famous Hotel Nacional and the Havana University. In Matanzas we will stay in another collection of homes all near the main street, close to the beautiful main city square.

Applications are now being accepted and registration will close on September 15th 2018. Click here to  APPLY NOW!

Cost covers all accommodations, class tuition, all breakfasts, all dinners, museum entrance costs, all workshops and concerts.