La Zorra Y El Cuervo Jazz Club
Located on the nightlife-friendly stretch known as La Rampa just off the Malecón in the El Vedado district of Havana, La Zorra y el Cuervo is without a doubt the city’s best—and coolest—jazz club. The entrance is through an imitation London-style telephone booth, lending an air of speakeasy-style secrecy to the place. But whatever secret that may have existed at some point in the past is now certainly out—this place maxes out at around a 100-person occupancy and is full just about every night of the week.
Founded as a club and music venue prior to the Cuban Revolution, La Zorra y el Cuervo switched to a full jazz format during the mid-1990s and has really taken off since then. The atmosphere is undeniably “jazzy” and just simply cool—a cramped, smoky basement hosting in-the-know visitors and top Cuban musicians from around 11 PM until 3 AM nightly. Over the years, the club has featured performances by Cuban jazz luminaries including pianist Roberto Fonseca, the trumpet player Maykel Manzano, and many more. A $10 CUC cover charge certainly doesn’t seem unfair, especially when you realize that your first two bar drinks are included in the price of admission.
Though La Zorra y el Cuervo is a happening spot year round, the place really springs to life during the annual Havana International Jazz Festival. Held yearly since 1997, the festival brings musicians from around the world to the island. During the festival, it’s not uncommon for international musicians who play “official” venues during the afternoon to make a visit to La Zorra y el Cuervo during the evening, jamming with their local Cuban counterparts in an international fusion unknown anyplace else but here.
If you can make it during this time of year, you’re in for a real treat—but even if you can’t, a visit to La Zorra y el Cuervo on any given night will give you a front row seat for an intimate jazz performance with an Afro-Cuban angle and a story that is sure to impress any jazz aficionados you may know back at home. Even if you aren’t the biggest jazz fan yourself, if you’re a lover of music in general you owe it to yourself to check out La Zorra y el Cuervo at some point during your stay in the city of Havana.
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