Cultural Exchange Pavilion: Cuban Culture at Jazz Fest in 2017

An historical celebration of Cuban culture at Jazz Fest in 2017!

In 2017, Jazz Fest honors New Orleans’ deep historical connections with Cuba by hosting the largest celebration of Cuban culture in the U.S. since the 1950’s. Over 150 Cuban artists are invited to participate in the 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell, most of whom will be in the U.S. for the first time!

With Cuban rhythms as the heartbeat, the 2017 Festival showcases Cuba’s extraordinary musical vitality with performances by pop stars Gente de Zona, Grammy winner Septeto Santiaguero, jazz legend Chucho Valdés, timba kings Los Van Van and much more!

On the field, the heart-jumping and rousing rhythm of Santiago’s Conga parade will take the dancing crowds around the Fair Grounds and to the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, the hub of the Cuban celebration. Inside the Pavilion, The Cuba Stage will showcase a wide variety of Cuban performances between 11:30 AM and 5:30 PM every day, ranging from Adonis y Osain del Monte’s explosive mix of rumba and Afro-Cuban rhythms to the soulful hip-hop of street poet Telmary y Habana Sana.

While in the Pavilion, do not miss the rare opportunity to exchange with Cuban master craftsmen and artists, as they demonstrate their creative process. Chat with a tobacco farmer from Cuba’s Western Province of Pinar del Rio while watching professional cigar-rollers at work. Marvel at the sight of the old tools master craftsmen use to build one-of-a-kind humidors or Cuban tres (three-string guitar). Inside and outside of the Pavilion, visual artists will develop lively mural paintings, sculpture installations and mixed media pieces. Photography and multimedia exhibits will offer additional insights on both contemporary and popular culture in Cuba.

For a complete Cuban experience, stop for tostones with mojo (fried green plantains with garlic sauce) and other delicious Cuban dishes served at the Congreso Cubano’s food booth located right outside of the Pavilion.