Spring Break 2017 was special for 12 students from the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance as they ventured to Cuba to learn first-hand the latin rhythms that have played an important part in influencing many genres of music. The week included workshops with Cuban percussionist Yissy - who regularly performs in the United States with musicians such as Dave Matthews, among others - and a live performance from the world's greatest rumba band, the Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. That performance culminated with a masterclass with members of the band. In between, the group - students of UM professor Michael Gould - visited the Universidad De Les Artes, where they were treated to a performance by Cuban university students and then later joined in with a performance.
The eight-day trip, financed by an anonymous donor, started out in Havana and ventured to Trinidad, Matanzas and Varadero before returning back to Ann Arbor.
From Havana the group got on a bus and traveled several hours south to old colonial city of Trinidad, which included a stop at the nearby Valley of Sugar Mills.