Scenes from Havana: A Photographic Look at the JazzTimes Tour to the Havana International Jazz Festival

In December 2002, JazzTimes Travel sponsored a special tour to the Havana International Jazz Festival in Cuba. More than 200 people came to the small island for a week of music, art, culture and education.

Photographer R. Andrew Lepley brought back these images and observations from the trip. JazzTimes Travel will return to Cuba with several trips planned throughout 2003.

Camel bus: This mode of transportation was introduced in the early ’90s to help commuters. The bus can hold up to 300 people and costs about a nickel to ride.
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School kids: I caught this group of Cuban school children who were on a visit to the Castillo de la Fuerza.
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Lunch & music: Many of our lunches were held in beautiful outdoor restaurants like La Ferminia, where we were serenaded by strolling Cuban musicians. Rice, beans and pork are staples of the Cuban diet.
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Larry Coryell & Chucho Valdes: The two performed together at the opening night of the Havana International jazz Festival.   Shows were held in the Teatro Amadeo Roldan Theatre.  Valdes is the artistic director for the festival.
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Cigar Shop: We witnessed this demonstration of cigar hand rolling technique, being performed in the gift shop of the largest cigar factory in Havana.
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Hammel’s Alley: This small street has been painted and decorated by a local artist. He can often be found there, still working on unpainted sections.
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Hemingway’s writing room: This is the room where Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Old Man and the Sea”.  Part of his house at “la vigia” farm, it is now a museum.
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Jay Collins: In this shot, Collins, a member of Bobby Sanabria’s band, seems to be playing along with the images on the screen behind the stage.
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Tropicana: On our last night in Cuba we went to the Tropicana, Havana’s most famous nightclub/cabaret, for dinner and a show.
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Steve Turre: In a performance at the Higher School of Art, Turre worked with the trombone students. The school occupies a former country club outside of Havana.
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