Jazz at Lincoln Center announced on Thursday that it would send its in-house band, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, to Cuba next month.
The trip is a first for the organization, whose concert programming and educational programs have increasingly stressed the Cuban aspect of jazz over the last decade. It was facilitated by the Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés as part of a cultural exchange under the auspices of the Cuban Institute of Music, an agency of the Cuban Ministry of Culture. Mr. Valdés, with his own band, already had New York concerts scheduled at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room on Oct. 22-23.
“We have been fantasizing about this for a long time,” said Adrian Ellis, the organization’s executive director, who noted that the Mellon, Ford, Rockefeller, and two other smaller foundations came up with the money to pay for the trip once the organization secured the necessary approval from the United States Treasury Department.
The news comes three weeks after American Ballet Theater announced plans to send its company to Cuba in early November for the 22nd International Ballet Festival of Havana.
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