Havana’s Rumba Paradise
Havana is a paradise for music and art, and on our Sunday there we decided to check out an amazing little spot for both! Callejon de Hamel is a short block in central Havana that’s also the center of Afro-Cuban culture in the city. Eclectic and artsy, it almost seems like the Burning Man of Cuba. Funky art galleries, rapping buskers, recycled street art, Santeria icons, performers, and wall-to-wall people enjoying the lively atmosphere. In Havana Santaria is still very popular. Mixing Catholicism and ancient African religions, it’s definitely the most popular religious belief in Cuba.
At the end of the alley was a whole Havana rumba group. The crowd was thick but we gradually made it close enough to see most of the action. The rhythms were free-flowing and improvisational, each drummer vibing off the others. The singers chanted, and other percussionists danced maniacally with maracas. Check out the video below! We loved it!
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