3 months ago
Appreciating Cuban music – its vast diversity, and how deeply sewn into the social and political fabric of the country it is - was at the heart of the Jazz Band’s historic trip. The fast-paced, 8-day musical adventure marked the group’s first tour in 25 years, and Terry, a saxophonist and chekeré player who joined Harvard’s faculty in 2015, organized an itinerary to not only showcase Cuba’s musical vibrancy, but also illuminate recent efforts to rescue and preserve many of the age-old traditions.
Music scholarship framed every day’s activities for the band, which passed traditional Havana tourist sites such as Revolution Square and the Capitol building with only glancing views. Instead, Terry took students to hear performances from the likes of Orquesta Tipica Miguel Failde in Matanzas, the birthplace of music and dance traditions called rumba and danzón, respectively.