If interested in Cuban music one should go to Santiago de Cuba. This is the swinging city of Caribbean music particularly just before and during the carnival. Santiago de Cuba is a hotter more vibrant city than the more cool and relaxed Havana. Havana has the amazing old architecture while Santiago de Cuba has the fabulous music. The Patio de Artex is one of the wonderful music clubs along Calle Heredia on the way down to Parque Céspedes. On the square old men playing different instruments are trying to fork out some CUC: s from visiting tourists. A cross Parque Céspedes one can find Casa de Don Diego Velázquez museum. Even the museum has their performing musicians a couple of times a week.
Santiago de Cuba
I arrived in Santiago de Cuba five days before the Carnival in Santiago De Cuba. My Casa particular (Cuban bed and breakfast) was on Calle Heredia about five minutes walking down to Parque Céspedes. Santiago de Cuba was dressing up for the carnival. Hugo Chavez was coming to visit Raul Castro so it was necessary to paint the front side on all houses along the way the carnival cortège would follow from the start to the finish at Parque Céspedes. All over the city people were training dance steps, preparing dresses for the carnival. One could hear music in each street corner, actually the same music everywhere, Santiago de Cuba was like a gigantic orchestra playing these rhythms. I was a vibration as special feeling one ca only feel in eastern Cuba on the Caribbean side.