Will I need to know how to speak Spanish to participate?
Participants do not need to speak Spanish. Some of the instructors speak English. KoSA Director, Aldo Mazza and all of the KoSA support staff speak English and Spanish and can provide translation when needed.
As an American, I thought travel was restricted to Cuba. Can I legally participate in this event?
US Citizens can participate legally in this program. The US State Department has definite guidelines published for individuals wishing to participate in this study program. Please contact us so that we may provide you with these guidelines and information for legal travel to Cuba.
As a drummer I have no formal training in Latin music but I would like to learn. Will this be too advanced for me?
This program is open to persons of all levels and interest. Classes are given in a group context and all levels are addressed, from the total novice to the advanced professional.
Where are the classes held and what live performances take place?
Most of the instruction takes place in the hotel conference rooms. Many of Cuba’s top name artists come out to join us and meet us during our classes. Often jam sessions break out between the local musicians and our participants. Some conferences and classes are held in other locations as part of the Havana Drum festival and national contest venues. We stay in a four star hotel and have a bus and driver on hand dedicated to the group all week. Each evening we attend the concerts of the Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival in the various large theatres around the city. We also attend the finals of the national drum and percussion competition. Each evening following the public concerts, there are jam sessions led by some of Cuba’s top artists in the lobby of the hotel as part of the festival.
Is the water safe to drink?
The Water in Havana is perfectly safe. Havana has the same standards of quality as North America, though it feels more like a European city.
How secure is Havana?
Havana and all of Cuba is one of the safest countries in the world. There is 3% illiteracy. Education, Culture and Health are top priorities which make Havana an easy going and stress free environment. Crime is low due to the fact that the law has very low tolerance for persons committing crimes, especially to foreigners.
How does the currency work?
No foreign currencies are used in Cuba. Foreigners exchange their currency (including US dollars) to Cuba Pesos (CUC). Money exchange is easy and simple at airports and at all hotels. Exchange rates are standard across Cuba to facilitate foreign exchange. Any money (CUC) to be exchanged back to your currency can be done anytime at any hotel or the airport.
Does Cuban immigration stamp passports when entering the country?
Cuba does NOT stamp foreign passports of any country. They stamp only the two part visa which comes with the flight or from the travel agency. One part is taken on arrival at customs and the second part is collected upon departure.
Do I need to bring any instruments?
KoSA has an inventory of instruments kept in Cuba and provides all of the instruments for Workshops.
How is the food?
The food is of the same quality as in North America. The hotels host enormous numbers of travellers from around the world and thus maintain the same standards as North America.