I had dinner Monday night, the day after returning from Cuba with Austin-Lehman Adventures, and something was missing. No strumming guitars. No trumpets. And definitely no shaking maracas. It seems that every meal I had over the past week in Cuba, breakfast, lunch and dinner was served with a healthy helping of music. Walking down Havana’s iconic Malecón, strolling the cobblestone streets of Old Town, enjoying the show at a 50’s-style nightclub and riding around in vintage Chevys and Fords the music was ever present. And it’s easy to sense why Cubans are so keen at providing a continuous soundtrack to life. They are some of the proudest, most passionate and lyrical people I’ve ever met.
Life is hard for the average Cuban but never once did I hear any anger, raised voices or complaining. Instead, there’s singing and dancing, melodic calls from street vendors and friendly offers from taxi cab drivers and pedicab pedalers. My advice when you take that trip to Cuba, leave your iPod at home and bring back a few of the music CDs offered-up by any of the bands you’ll be sure to encounter