Probably the highlight of my trip to Cuba was experiencing the music of the Buena Vista Social Club. They are a group of older musicians from Havana that were forgotten during the Castro Regime and brought back to prominence by an American guitarist, Ry Cooder. He came to Cuba and recorded the group of musicians in about 14 days. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, and all over the world, reviving traditional Cuban music. Their album was recorded in 1997 and received a Grammy Award. BVSC was a group of prominent musicians in the 40’s and 50’s that formed a Club in Havana. The room was throbbing, everyone was dancing the salsa. You could not possibly stay seated. The music was fabulous.
We started the day with a visit to a rum factory. I really did not know that there is a high quality rum that retails for $1700 a bottle USD. A shot of rum is a great way to start the morning! We made the pilgrimage to Ernest Hemingway’s home. I knew he was highly regarded, but Cubans adore him! The house was interesting. Full of bullfight memorabilia, hunting trophies, wonderful artwork, and loaded with books everywhere. It looked like a quite comfortable house. He had marked his weight in his bathroom on the wall, everyday.
After lunch at another rooftop restaurant, we visited the atelier of the Picasso of the Caribbean, Jose Fuster. Wow! Pictures follow!