Havana, with a population of 2,154,454 inhabitants, is Cuba’s leading tourist destination and a fundamental hub of creativity and music production. The Old City of Havana and its system of fortifications were declared World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO in 1982 for their rich historical, architectural and cultural heritage, a fusion of European, African and indigenous contributions. Havana is characterized by a soundscape that resonates with the rhythm of music.
Music therefore contributes significantly to the city’s economy, generating substantial economic income and many jobs, with cultural production representing up to 4% of its GDP. Havana boasts artists, groups and communities involved in music creation both professionally and as amateurs, the latter working for example in the city’s cultural programme with an output of 2,210 cultural activities each year.
In the new context of updating the Cuban economic model, cultural industries appear as sustainable and resilient alternatives to crisis contexts. The CubaDisco International Fair Symposium, the JoJazz Contest, the Drum Festival Master Classes and Lectures, the Cuban International Hip-Hop Symposium, Fanfare Meetings and the Musicology Colloquium at Casa de las Américas are among the many musical events hosted by the city.
The Cuban Institute of Music, with its policy of developing musical talent, implements a dozen programmes that cover the entire technical and artistic spectrum. An information and analysis system provides detailed statistical mapping of all actors in the chain and plays a role in auditing and decision-making. Finally, a technological platform for Cuban music is under development, which will make it possible to digitally promote and market the vast existing catalogue.
As a Creative City of Music, Havana envisages:
- launching a local development project aimed at culturally revitalizing the whole of Avenida Línea, one of the city’s most important arteries, in the fields of performing arts, visual arts, dance and music;
- strengthening the music industry by harmonizing its products with international standards, improving mechanisms for the promotion and distribution of Cuban music, and developing the skills of different actors;
- initiating a programme for the development of music creation with the aim of improving the dissemination of composers’ work;
- creating a programme for the development of musicology by equipping it with the theoretical and practical tools needed to impart an understanding of how the city music functions and evolves; and
- launching a programme for the development of music education at all levels to help individuals make progress in their personal and professional development.
Tatiana Viera Hernández
Vice-Governor of Havana,