Casa De La Trova De Trinidad
If you are a fan of Cuban music or want to get to know it better, the city's famous open-air Casa de la Musica is a big attraction. However, don't forget to seek out the Casa de la Trova in Trinidad's cobbled backstreets as well. Serving mojitos and traditional Cuban music from lunchtime until late, it's a great place to while away an hour or two, even if you prefer to watch the locals on the dance floor rather than get up there yourself.
Listen to excellent local musicians
At Casa de la Trova, you will mainly hear trova and son, plus charanga, cha-cha, and bolero rather than the more modern and up-tempo salsa. Trova has more of a folkloric style, with the singer often telling stories through his songs. Son, with its sedate rhythm and formal dance style, is acknowledged as an important precursor of modern salsa.
Many Cuban cities have a Casa de la Trova, but those in Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba are considered the most authentic, despite high numbers of tourist visitors. At the Trinidad Casa de la Trova, look out for concerts by local groups and musicians, such as Semillas del Son, Santa Palabra and the Trinidad's best-known trovador, Israel Moreno. Grupo Nueva Imagen also gets great reviews, especially for their vocalist. Soles del Escambray is a trip embodying the real spirit of trovadors. Grupo Baraguá offers a lively set with around 9 members on stage at any one time!
As with some of the best Cuban musicians, many of these guys have been around the block a few times - many look like they've probably been playing here since before the revolution!
Trova: One of Cuba's musical roots
Trova has its origins in the 19th century, when groups of travelling musician-composers plied their trade in Eastern Cuba, particularly in the region of Santiago de Cuba. A true trovador typically sings songs of his own composition and accompanies himself on guitar. Along with son, trova has made a profound mark on modern Cuban music and is seen as a forerunner of salsa, which is popular today. The trovador's itinerant lifestyle was key to bringing popular music to the masses.
Casa de la Trova is usually open in the afternoons and evenings until around 1am. Enquire within or check posters at the venue for the gig schedules.
Get InspirationAll about where to go and what you can do
Take a trip to the Vedado neighbourhood in downtown Havana to pop in for drinks and tapas at this unique cafe-bar located in an old colonial-style mansion. The ambiance is relaxed, the service is excellent and the music is great. It's the perfect location in Vedado district to while away a couple of hours in the late afternoons, early evenings or late nights when you feel the need to wind down with a refreshing cocktail.
Housed in a large, elegant home in the Vedado district, Bar Bohemio exudes a friendly, everyone-is-welcome vibe. The interior is a bright, quirkily decorated space filled couches and chairs in addition to tables, inviting guests to linger and enjoy their time here. The food here is delicious and the environment is refined but laid-back (think bright pink walls adorned with vinyl records), making it one of the city's most enjoyable restaurants. This place offers a warm, relaxing atmosphere for a gathering of friends or a romantic evening.
Old school jazz aficionados might turn their noses up at the cigar-free, modern ambiance of Cafe Miramar, but fans of Afro-Cuban jazz styles will appreciate the fabulous acoustics, reasonable menu and well-considered layout of this new venue on Havana's live music scene. For tourist is a great opportunity to enjoy amazing concerts by Cuban music performances.
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