If the mission of World Cafe's Sense of Place is to capture the essence of great musical cities around the globe through the musicians who live there, there's no better stop than Havana, Cuba. Whether it's salsa, rumba or jazz played in the streets, restaurants and clubs, music is everywhere.
One of David Dye's favorite discoveries is the Havana Jazz Collective, led by trumpeter Yasek Manzano. It was at the band's concert that he met singer Janet Valdes, who, like most of the collective, has her own ongoing music career. She agreed to give Dye a tour of local musical spots that are important to her.
In this video, she offers a glimpse of Havana's premier jazz club, La Zorra y El Cuervo, as well as The Church of Our Lady of Regla, where Valdes studies to become a priestess of Santeria — the Cuban religion which combines Catholic influences with those of Yoruba saints or "orishas" from Africa. Finally, experience Afro-Cuban music, art and dance down Callejon de Hamel (Hamel's Alley), which is lined with beautiful African-inspired murals by Salvador González Escalona.
Bob Giardini, video; David Dye and Kimberly Junod, producers; Roger LaMay, Bruce Warren, executive producers
World Cafe's Sense of Place: Havana was made possible by a grant from The Wyncote Foundation.