Santiago de Cuba


UNESCO City of Music

since 2021

In Santiago de Cuba, a city of diverse cultural confluences, music is one of the most widespread artistic expressions. For residents it is a tool for urban development, furthering social integration, multicultural dialogue, the creation and development of social identity. It encompasses various aspects, from listening to recorded music to enjoying live music. The city’s spirit has the essential elements of a Creative City of Music. The diversity of its rhythms and genres has international prestige, represented by the work of the city’s vast music sector comprising professional musicians, numbering over 1600, and its 102 music-centric cultural institutions. The city’s music industry also boasts artist agencies and record companies, musical instruments manufacturers, record stores and freelancers in the field. Santiago has the infrastructure necessary to further develop the local music value chain, via the production generated by diverse relevant parties. The city annually hosts numerous intangible cultural resources, fairs, parties, festivals and events including Carnival of Santiago, ‘Pepe Sánchez’ Trova Festival, International Choir Festival, MatamoroSon Festival, Boleros de Oro Festival, Caribbean Festival, Jazz Festival, and Cubadisco Fair.

As a Creative City of Music, the following steps will be important:

• Promoting Santiago’s music by reinforcing the organization, creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services;
• Exchanging knowledge, experiences and good practices among actors of the creative music industry at the local and international levels;
• Reinforcing international cooperation among the Creative Cities of Music;
• Creating spaces for music recording, thereby offering more opportunities to women and other marginalized demographics, the public and private sectors, and civil society; and
• Maximizing developmental potential across musical genres by creating workshops for different social groups, promoting global participation in the cultural life of the city.