Sept. 12 - American musicians from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra give lessons and donate instruments to Cuba's music students. Tara Cleary reports.
Students at a Cuban music school try out new instruments and techniques. Acquired through an American project that donates instruments and organizes workshops and free jazz classes at four Cuban music schools. "Horns to Havana" was founded by Carlos Enrique, a bassist in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York. Enrique says he hopes the project will encourage ties between the U.S. and the neighboring island. SOUNDBITE: Carlos Enrique, founder of "Horns to Havana", saying (English): "This project is going to help the relationships and keep the bridge open so we can continue coming back and forth. We teach a little bit of jazz music and then you teach a little more of afro-Cuban music." "Horns to Havana" supplied instruments for four complete jazz orchestras, totaling 96 instruments at a cost of 70,000 U.S. dollars. And that's music to the students' ears. SOUNDBITE: Percussion student, Alejandro Alvarado, saying (Spanish): "I listen to this refined American musician and I am pleased. I'm learning things I didn't know." For the first time, Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians invited American luthiers to restore instruments and also to share their knowledge with the budding musicians. SOUNDBITE: Lutherie student, Darian Davidaos Capitel, saying (Spanish): "It's impossible to think I'd be able to learn with the best American teachers." U.S. President Barack Obama has encouraged cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba. And after decades of friction, "Horns to Havana" hopes to create some pleasing harmonies. Tara Cleary, Reuters.