The Trump administration is expected to announce changes in U.S.-Cuban policy in June, so the time to take that musical trip to Havana is now.
Press reports in recent days have revealed that the Trump administration is expected to announce a shift on Cuba policy in June, and it looks like changes will be made to President Obama’s historic loosening of regulations governing business and travel on the island, which paved the way for cruises and commercial airline flights from the U.S.
At this point, there is speculation, but no confirmation, that Trump’s anticipated rollback of Obama’s policies could in some way alter 2016 rules that have allowed Americans to visit the island for music-related tours (which the U.S. government classifies as “educational activities”) and concerts (“public performances”). Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators reintroduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act on May 26 to repeal all restrictions on travel to Cuba.
“We’ve been told that travel is going to be rolled back to an unspecified degree in June,” says Cuban music scholar and producer Ned Sublette, who leads frequent immersive music trips on the island organized by his company Postmambo Studies. “Obviously this is a concern. … On the other hand, there are 55 senators in favor of the free travel to Cuba bill.” Sixty votes are needed to advance the legislation, which was first introduced in 2015.
While there is no evidence yet that the party is over for Americans in Cuba, music lovers who have still not traveled to Cuba might want to move that experience up on their bucket list.
Over the past year-and-a-half, record labels and promoters have been among those quick to stake a claim in Cuba with diverse attractions that include visits to recording studios, meet and greets with musicians and of course, concerts and club nights. Here are some notable music-related trips to Cuba to explore:
Blue Note Travel
In 2015, Blue Note Entertainment Group — which operates…