Adventure seekers and travelers of all ages and interests are welcome!

Wainwright Libre! is an event for music lovers, and adventure seekers of all ages, interests, and tastes!

JOIN Rufus IN CUBA FOR:

  • Two once in a lifetime concerts by Rufus: the first a private, solo show just for our group at Teatro Bellas Artes, the second with full orchestra with special guest Carlos Varela at Teatro Mella.
  • Concerts Every Other Night by the Best Musicians in Cuba!
  • A Music Discussion led by Rufus at Instituto Superior de Arte
  • AN EXCLUSIVE Meet & Greet and Signing with Rufus
  • Visits with Leading Cuban Visual Artists at their Private Galleries
  • Visits to Cuba’s Top Museums and Cultural Institutions
  • A Drive Around Havana in a Classic Convertible
  • Cigar and Rum Tastings
  • Rhumba and Salsa Dance Parties
  • Historic Architectural Tours
  • and SO MUCH MORE!

 

ALL SIGHTSEEING TOURS AND WORKSHOPS WILL IN GROUPS OF 15 OR LESS!*

*Rufus Wainwright will be leading one discussion with no size limits.

Adventure seekers and travelers of all ages and interests are welcome!

Wainwright Libre! is an event for music lovers, and adventure seekers of all ages, interests, and tastes!

JOIN Rufus IN CUBA FOR:

  • Two once in a lifetime concerts by Rufus: the first a private, solo show just for our group at Teatro Bellas Artes, the second with full orchestra with special guest Carlos Varela at Teatro Mella.
  • Concerts Every Other Night by the Best Musicians in Cuba!
  • A Music Discussion led by Rufus at Instituto Superior de Arte
  • AN EXCLUSIVE Meet & Greet and Signing with Rufus
  • Visits with Leading Cuban Visual Artists at their Private Galleries
  • Visits to Cuba’s Top Museums and Cultural Institutions
  • A Drive Around Havana in a Classic Convertible
  • Cigar and Rum Tastings
  • Rhumba and Salsa Dance Parties
  • Historic Architectural Tours
  • and SO MUCH MORE!

 

ALL SIGHTSEEING TOURS AND WORKSHOPS WILL IN GROUPS OF 15 OR LESS!*

*Rufus Wainwright will be leading one discussion with no size limits.

An Invitation from Rufus

Hello,

I can say that I’m both very lucky and extremely proud to have had the pleasure of visiting Cuba as well as performing there in the past. Now, we have the opportunity to experience the music, arts, food and culture together.

From September 21 through September 25, I’ll be hosting Wainwright Libre, Rufus in Havana. We’ll be staying at the Melia Miramar hotel and get a fantastic opportunity to really dig into the culture of Cuba together – in addition I’ll be performing a couple of exciting shows for you!

I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, and there was a connection between the two places, as people visited Cuba frequently, even if it was primarily about enjoying those beautiful beaches. I remember Ry Cooder made Buena Vista Social Club with Wim Wenders in the nineties. That gave me a clearer lens into the country, even though it barely scratched the surface.

The first time I went to Cuba was in 2013, and it was amazing to see Havana. It feels more like New York than Miami. Simply put, the city is massive. The architecture is stunning, with an incredibly stately nature to it all; it’s all very seductive in a sense. The people are warm, welcoming, and eager-to-meet-you, and they’re very open right now. I’m excited to experience all of that again. I’ll be showing you around. I do know some secrets, but you’ll have to wait to see what they are once we’re there together!

I’ve performed in Cuba before, but we’re going to do something a little different this time. The first performance, just for you, will be a private, stripped-down, solo show. We’ll also be playing a public show, and I have some surprises in store for this one, but I will tell you that I’ll be playing alongside some of Cuba’s best musicians, some of the greatest musicians in the world.

It’s an honor to be asked to do something like this. The fact that you might build a little vacation around following me to an interesting destination is very humbling as a musician and something I could never have dreamed of. I can’t wait to explore this amazing culture with you. I think it’s important to remain open and proactive about sharing who we are as a society, engaging in cultural exchanges, learning about other people, and really enhancing America’s reputation as ambassadors.

I hope you walk away from the trip with new friends, memories, and a sense of the interesting realism of the place and the fantastical dream world that it can also engender. Cuba has an amazing mix of both elements. You see things that are very true while also very mysterious and ephemeral. It pivots between those two elements in a wonderful way. It’s really beautiful. The people are gorgeous, and the weather ain’t too bad!

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Sincerely,
Rufus Wainwright

Featured Cuban Guest Artists

Subject to change.  Additional special guests to be added soon!

carlos-varela-7_2

Carlos Varela

interactivo

Interactivo

When one says ‘Latin Music,’ it’s a pretty broad term. Whether it’s Cuban music, Mexican music, or Brazilian music, there’s so much to choose from. Cuban music itself is one of the monolithic statues of that genre. It’s a real honor to go down there and be a part of that in some small way.

-Rufus Wainwright

Locations Around Havana

Check out some of the many venues, restaurants, and other locations that will play host to our group in Havana below.

Locations subject to change.

150729-arturo-ofarrill-afro-latin-jazz-orchestra-01-1051a_cf4976bd6b071e6852544e5b64d98857.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000

Abdala Studios

This world-class studio, where Buena Vista Social Club was recorded, boasts state-of-the-art technology, unique in Cuba, that satisfies the highest sound requirements at an international level.
CafeMiramar2

Cafe Miramar

This new jazz club has quickly established itself as one of the very best places to hear some of Cuba’s best musicians jamming.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam vel neque quis.

Club Havana

This fabulously eclectic 1928 mansion in has a long and distinguished history as a beach club for the well heeled and will serve as the backdrop for one of our lunches.
atelier

El Atelier

Featuring a daily-changing handwritten menu, this eclectic palodar will serve as our host for one of our fabulous dinners.

fabrica_de_arte_cubano

Fábrica de Arte Cubano

Transformed from a steel drum factory, this Havana art club and restaurant, Fábrica de Arte Cubano—translation “Factory of the Arts”—will also host workshops as well as evening concerts and recitals.
fuster

Fusterlandia

A must-see location in Havana, this life-size studio, residence and community project of Cuban artist, José Rodriguez Fuster, will host one of our many excursions in Havana.
Cuba-2010-Grand-Theater

Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso

This magnificent theatre has been home to the Cuban National Ballet and, on its main stage, to the International Ballet Festival of Havana.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam vel neque quis.

Instituto Superior de Arte

Instituto Superior de Arte is the national arts graduate university in Cuba and a cultural landmark known for it's history and architecture.
LaCecilia2

La Cecilia

A high-class restaurant serving international food by day and and an immensely popular place on a Friday and Saturday night for its concerts and nightlife.
LaGuaridaArchitect

La Guarida

A popular palodar (privately run restaurants in people’s homes) in the heart of old Havana where we’ll enjoy dinner at night after the day’s workshops.
restaurante-doce-apostoles

Los Doce Apóstoles

Located in one of the fortresses that used to protect the eastern side of the Havana harbor, Los Doce Apóstoles specializes in Cuban food and national and international cocktails.
Marti

Teatro Martí

This Romanesque-style theater opened in 1884 and has recently been extensively and painstakingly renovated, and technologically brought up to date by the City Historian’s Office.

Schedule

My first trip was about four years ago, I wanted to visit before Castro died. I just felt that would be an interesting and historical field trip to visit this place while he was still alive. I actually did that twice. I didn’t meet him or anything, but I did get the opportunity to meet a couple members of his family.

-Rufus Wainwright

Daily Schedule

Example June 23

  • 9:00AM

    Breakfast

  • 10:00AM

    Sightseeing and Activities (included in our program)

  • 12:00PM

    Lunch and Relax at the Hotel

  • 2:00PM

    Sightseeing and Activities (included in our program)

  • 6:00PM

    Interactivo Concert

  • 7:00PM

    Dinner

  • 9:00PM

    Intimate Rufus Wainwright Concert, Interactivo concert, or VIP Seats at Rufus’ Public Concert with a full orchestra and special guest Carlos Varela.

Your Arrival in Havana

You will arrive in Havana in the afternoon for a 4pm check-in at the lovely Melia Havana Hotel. After an orientation and welcome reception at the hotel, your Havana getaway will get under way with an hour-long tour of the city in an old American convertible. Drive the Malercon, along the water and next to the buildings created by architectural greats and American gangsters alike! See the medieval city of Old Havana and the cold war-era Plaza De La Revolucion – all at sunset. From there, go to one of Havana’s finest restaurants followed by a welcoming concert by the great Interactivo.

On each of the next three days, we will start in the morning with one-of-a-kind cultural adventures in Havana. Among the trips we are offering will be walking tours of Havana, visits with leading artists and musicians, museum tours, architectural tours, salsa dancing, cigar tasting and much more! This will be followed by lunch then another round of cultural fun with our Cuban hosts. After that, we have optional activities for those of you who want to take advantage of them or chill time, for those who wouldn’t mind sitting by the pool, relaxing, and catching up from the busy day. And at nights, we go out to a new restaurant each day for a wonderful meal followed by wonderful concerts.

Rufus Wainwright will be performing twice in the middle of all this! On the second night of the trip he will be performing just for our group at Teatro Bellas Artes, located in the heart of the historic Bellas Artes Museum in Old Havana. On the final night of the trip, Rufus will perform again, this time to a Cuban audience plus all of us at Teatro Mella. For his performance, Rufus will be joined by a full orchestra and very special guest, Cuban superstar, Carlos Varela! In addition to these two unique performances, Rufus will lead a music discussion and tour with us one afternoon at the Instituto Superior de Arte (known as ISA) and he will be pleased to meet everyone taking the trip with him at a meet and greet and signing session!

Included In Our Program

  • Architecture Tour of Havana

    Walk the streets of this historic Unesco preserved City with special attention paid to its architectural wonders and history- from medieval forts to art deco palaces. see the neighborhoods of Vedado, Miramar, Chinatown, and the center of the City with its decrepit beauty.

  • Arts & Crafts Tour

    Visit the flea markets and street artists of Havana. Visit the Craft Fair in Old Havana as well as the best rum and cigar boutiques. Located in the Centro Comercial Artesanal San José- with lots of shopping opportunities! (bring cash!)

  • Cigar Factory Tour

    Visit the Upmann Real Cigar Factory in Havana. Watch the cigar rollers work their magic while learning everything about cigars from the planting of the tobacco to the exportation of cigars.

  • Photography Tours & Workshop

    Participate in tours of Havana with many of Cuba’s leading photographers. Also, photographers will be leading workshops at their personal studios. These sessions are for anyone with a phone up to a professional. It’s all about having fun taking photos and capturing the moment in Havana!

  • Rumba Party

    This percussion-based music is the music of Africa combined with the rhythms of Southern America. Feel the beat, experience the fun. Visit with the greatest percussionists and rumba players in Cuba during which musicians, dancers and ordinary citizens take part in a party that combines movement, songs, and Cubanity! Only on Sunday mornings!

  • Salsa Dancing Lessons

    Learn all the right moves, one-on-one, with a Cuban salsa master!  Learn the basics or work on your advanced steps.  Perfect for anyone from beginners to experienced dancers!

  • Tour of Havana in an Old American Convertible

    On your first evening in Havana, take an hour-long ride in a historic American classic car and see the remarkable city and all it has to offer!

  • Walking Tour of Old Havana

    A visit to Old Havana, one of the oldest cities in Latin America, takes you back to the past with its heritage squares, main streets, the history, and buildings. See and learn about the streets of this historic Unesco preserved City with special attention to the history, cultural landmarks and galleries. Walk in the footsteps of Hemingway and Obama!

Exclusive Art Tours

  • Artist Gallery Tours

    Visit the leading and most famous artists in Havana at their homes and private studios including Maykel Herrera, Nelson Dominguez and the artists at La Mina, the Gorría Workshop Gallery and the Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana. These personal studios, often in the artist’s home, are unique to the Cuban art scene and a once in a lifetime experience for any art-lover.

  • Bellas Artes Museum

    Visit the incomparable Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana in Old Havana. This comprehensive museum offers a history of Cuban art and culture- from the days of Columbus to contemporary artists.

  • Fabrica de Arte Cubano

    This remarkable art gallery and night club will be host to many of our evening activities and is one of the coolest and most creative places you will ever see. Visit and meet with many of Cuba’s leading artists and musicians while at Fabrica de Arte Cubano.

  • Instituto Superior de Arte

    Visit the Instituto Superior de Arte– the Cuban national arts university where every great musician, actor, dancer, sculptor, painter, screen painter, and woodcarver in Cuba attends. It is an International architectural landmark and the site of some the most wonderful art and music on the planet.

  • Public Art Installations

    Visit some of the legendary Public Art Installations like Fusterlandia,  Arte Corte, Muraleando, and Proyecto Sociocultural Comunitario Quisicuaba and the site of pieces by local artists like Kcho.

Optional One-on-One Activities and Lessons

  • Cooking Cuban Cuisine

    Join the top chefs in Havana and go shopping at the local food markets- then take your bounty to their kitchens and as you prepare your meal, learn the secrets to this tasty unique Caribbean cuisine!

  • Cuban Beach Excursion

    Visit “Playas del Este,” the gold coast of Havana and, depending on the weather, relax and and enjoy pristine beaches such as Santa María, Mégano, Tarará, or Guanabo. Lunch will be provided at a local paladar. Bring your own towels and sun tan lotion!

  • Cuban Guitar Lessons

    Learn from a Cuban Master! Any experience level welcome. Adding Cuban style and flavor to your guitar playing will enrich your personal style. Translator available upon request.

  • Cuban Percussion and Drum Workout

    Percussion is the heartbeat of Cuban music! You’ll learn, one-on-one, the instruments and rhythms of Cuban percussion and the authentic flavor of Cuban music.

  • Cuban Piano Lessons

    The key to Cuban music can be found on a piano. Study the melodies, the chords, the timing of great latin music – from salsa to son!

  • Hemingway Tour of Havana

    Visit the Floridita bar where he wrote every day, visit his residence outside town, and see the haunts where he wrote many of this masterworks, including The Old Man And The Sea

  • Rum and Cigar Tasting

    Taste the perfect marriage of authentic Cuban Rum and the Habano Cigar with its multiple, natural flavors, an activity with a long cultural history and a uniquely Cuban experience.

  • Salsa Dancing Lessons

    Learn all the right moves, one-on-one, with a Cuban salsa master!  Learn the basics or work on your advanced steps.  Perfect for anyone from beginners to experienced dancers!

Scheduled Activities are subject to change.

All sightseeing groups will be 15 people or less.

Sign up for the mailing list and stay up to date on all of the latest news.

Melia Habana

MELIA HABANA HOTEL, HAVANA, CUBA

Situated on the Havana seafront, with views of the sea and the city in the district of Miramar, this leading urban venue boasts the largest swimming pool of all urban hotels in Cuba as well as a cigar bar tasting store for smokers and cigar lovers and even an art gallery! Melia Habana is one of the premier hotels in the entire country and is part of the prestigious Meliá Hotels International family.

Melia Habana is located right alongside the Havana coastline in the heart of the Miramar residential and business district.

Melia Habana is located right alongside the Havana coastline in the heart of the Miramar residential and business district.

Lorem Ipsum fdjsa fjsa jf dsaj fdsja jfkl.

The Meliá Hotels International family of hotels is one of the largest hotel companies in the world with hotels all over South America and Europe.

Address
Ave. 3Era. E/ 76 Y 80 Miramar Playa
La Habana, Cuba
Website

Credit Cards and Payments

Your room and meal charges at Melia are included in your fees to Music & Arts Live!, but for incidentals and other discretionary purchases Melia Habana does accept non-US credit cards, travelers checks, and cash. Please remember that unless you have an International credit card for use at the Melia all the above services will be on a cash pay-as-you-go basis.

Hotel Amenities

  • 24 Hour restaurant and bar
  • Conceirge can arrange tours and activites
  • Currency exchange
  • Laundry
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Room service
  • Spa and gym
  • Taxis outside 24 hours
  • Telephone land lines in all rooms
  • WiFi (*additional charge)

Travel Directions

Melia, Havana, Cuba, Ben Folds

Inquiries
For all questions regarding travel, please contact info@musicandartslive.com

Travel Insurance
Music & Arts Live! strongly recommends all members of our travel party take out travel insurance through an independent source, in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Questions?
If you still have questions on travel, email us.

800-852-9277

Contact Us!

Get Directions

Flights and Travel to Havana, Cuba

Effective immediately, there are daily non-stop flights from many major US cities to Havana, including New York City, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Tampa, and others. So, you can now book your own flight to Cuba online or contact us for travel agent recommendations.

Some notes for your travel to Cuba

  • Your airline will provide you with a Cuban visa. They will charge you approximately $100 for this. They will also charge you Cuban Departure tax of roughly $25 and Cuban health insurance of $8. This is all legit and required by all airlines. You will also be given a US travel document for Cuban travel.  You will want to check off the “people to people” exchange on this document.  The airline will also advise you on this.
  • Please remember that US credit cards are not accepted in Cuba (but Canadian and European cards are) so you will need to bring cash. When you arrive in Havana at Jose Marti International Airport, there is currency exchange. You can exchange your International currency at the hotel.
  • You can take a taxi to the Melia Hotel. or Music & Arts Live! can arrange for a car to meet you and take you to the Hotel.
  • Once you arrive at the hotel, all your costs are covered, except shopping, optional sightseeing, snacks and drinks outside of meals, and alcohol.
  • Electrical outlets in Cuba will need a US adaptor in order to work. There are US compatible outlets in every room at the Melia but we recommend that you bring your own to recharge your devices.
  • There are safes in all the rooms at Melia.
  • There is little Wifi in Cuba but there is good Wifi in our hotel. There is also little International cell phone service but Verizon will work there.

You will need a valid passport this trip when you purchase your airfare and for travel to Cuba. Your airline will acquire visas and handle of the required paperwork with both the Cuban and United States governments. Non-U.S. registrants may go to Cuba on a tourist visa which you can get from your airline of choice. No special permission for non-US citizens is required.

Open Resort Location In Maps App

Instrument Travel

FAA Rules - Bringing Musical Intruments on Flights

What’s Included

  • Full accommodations at Melia Habana in the exclusive Miramar district for 4 nights
  • 3 great meals a day at selected restaurants and paladars (Breakfast at the hotel)
  • All workshops and clinics for 4 days and nights with Rufus and our Cuban Artists and Photographers
  • Concerts – with Rufus and other artists – every night
  • Ground Transport in Cuba to all Organized Activities (clinics, workshops, meals, concerts)
  • Introductory convertible tour of Havana with a guide
  • All translators, guides, and ground transport in Cuba

What’s Not Included

  • Air Travel to Cuba, Exit Visas, and Health Insurance (highly recommended)
  • Free Time Activities (including Private Lessons with Cuban Masters, Private Tours, etc.)
  • Alcohol, Mini Bar, and Snacks
  • Nightclub Excursions beyond our Planned Activities
  • Shopping
  • Wifi at the hotel- it is customary for hotels in Cuba to charge a small fee for wi fi access
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal musical or photography gear

Cuban Health Insurance
Cuban Health Insurance can be included with your air travel for a small fee. We strongly recommend this in case of illness or unexpected need to see a doctor in Cuba.

Pricing and Registration

Room Types and Pricing

Installment plans available upon checkout. We welcome and even encourage significant others to join registrants for this wonderful trip, but we have to charge full price for loved ones whether or not they participate in our scheduled tours and workshops during the days. Our gracious hosts in Cuba will be happy to arrange a wonderful sight seeing, art, and cultural program for guests in Cuba while their partner lives out their music and photography dreams. These itineraries can be worked out in advance or once you arrive in Cuba.

  • Shared Room with Two Beds
    2,699.00

    Standard Room with two beds and a roommate. You may either name a fellow registrant as your roommate or one will be assigned by Music & Art Live. Roommate matches are based on age and gender. If signing up with a roommate in mind, please enter their name in the “Roommate” field as you continue registration. Roommate must also register for Wainwright Libre! Rufus in Havana. Pricing is per person.

  • Single with One Bed
    3,999.00

    Standard room with one bed. Pricing is per person.

  • Couples Room
    5,299.00

    Standard Room with one king bed meant to be shared by a couple. Pricing is for the room and two registrants. Two beds available upon request.

What’s Included

  • Full accommodations at Melia Habana in the exclusive Miramar district for 4 nights
  • 3 great meals a day at selected restaurants and paladars (Breakfast at the hotel)
  • All workshops and clinics for 4 days and nights with Rufus and our Cuban Artists and Photographers
  • Concerts – with Rufus and other artists – every night
  • Ground Transport in Cuba to all Organized Activities (clinics, workshops, meals, concerts)
  • Introductory convertible tour of Havana with a guide
  • All translators, guides, and ground transport in Cuba

What’s Not Included

  • Air Travel to Cuba, Exit Visas, and Health Insurance (highly recommended)
  • Free Time Activities (including Private Lessons with Cuban Masters, Private Tours, etc.)
  • Alcohol, Mini Bar, and Snacks
  • Nightclub Excursions beyond our Planned Activities
  • Shopping
  • Wifi at the hotel- it is customary for hotels in Cuba to charge a small fee for wi fi access
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal musical or photography gear

Cuban Health Insurance
Cuban Health Insurance can be included with your air travel for a small fee. We strongly recommend this in case of illness or unexpected need to see a doctor in Cuba.

Pricing and Registration Policy

INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLANS AVAILABLE UPON CHECKOUT

  • Registration & Payments
    • All rates are per-person, unless stated otherwise.
    • All prices subject to change. Prior sales excluded. CubaArtsLive! reserves the right to change any price, package or offering at any time without prior notice.
    • All rates are subject to 8.9% surcharge, which includes all local, state, and occupancy taxes.
  • Minor Policy
    • You must be 18 or older to attend without a guardian. Participants under 18 are permitted if accompanied by legal guardian/chaperone and a release form.
  • Cancellations
    • All payments and deposits are final and non-refundable.

For complete details please see our Registration and Payment Policy

It’s a complete and utter revelation in terms of its historical treasures and its vibrant presence and interesting future. It’s like no other place in the world.

-Rufus Wainwright

Join The Mailing List

Sign up for the mailing list and stay up to date on all of the latest news.

Special Thanks to the Cuban Ministry of Culture and the Cuban Music Institute for all of their Support!