Blue Note Entertainment Group - the entity that owns and operates music venues such as Blue Note Jazz Club, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Highline Ballroom, Subrosa, and The Howard Theatre, among other properties - announced today the launch of Blue Note Travel, a new division that will curate a wide range of culturally enriching music travel experiences for fans to global destinations.
The division's portfolio of offerings will include unique trips to various music festivals around the world (featuring amenities such as VIP seating/access and artist meet-and-greets, among others) as well as rare travel opportunities with world renowned musicians and personalities.
While several destinations will be announced in the coming weeks, Blue Note Travel is proud to launch with Cuba as its first destination. Multiple Cuba itineraries are now available for purchase, with travel dates as early as May 2015. Visit bluenotetravel.com for information.
"Over the years, many of our venue patrons have inquired about music-centric trips to prime destinations and music festivals around the world," says Steven Bensusan, President of Blue Note Entertainment Group. "With Blue Note Travel, we can finally offer music fans unique travel experiences using our direct access to the world's finest musicians, music festivals and colleagues in global markets. We're particularly excited to launch Blue Note Travel with Cuba as our first destination, given the recent political developments."
For its Cuba offerings, Blue Note Travel formed a partnership with Cultural Island Travel in October 2014 (prior to the Obama administration's announcement of the U.S. updated policy toward Cuba in December 2014). Cultural Island Travel has been a leader in offering distinctive cultural exchanges for patrons between Cuba and the U.S. since 1999 (with an emphasis on music and dance). The organization is one of the few entities that is legally permitted to conduct people-to-people travel (which classifies trips as genuine cultural exchanges), authorized by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Freight Assets Control (OFAC)
"Cuba is widely considered to be one of the hot spots of jazz - an inspiration to the likes of Charlie Parker, Cab Calloway and Dizzy Gillespie and a perennial source of enjoyment to listeners. Notwithstanding political tensions, there continues to be a prevailing affinity between Cuban and American jazz musicians and audiences," says Shabi Samoohi, President of Cultural Island Travel and Direct From Cuba, an organization that represents and arranges concerts and programs for various Cuban musicians in New York City. "This partnership with Blue Note Travel is therefore a natural outgrowth and a re-invigoration of our commitment at Cultural Island Travel to fostering first-rate cultural, musical and artistic exchange between U.S. and Cuban citizens."
"With our access as well as Cultural Island Travel's long standing relationship with Cuban musicians, we look forward to engaging in wholly unique cultural exchanges between Cubans and U.S. citizens, with an emphasis on music, dance, and visual art, in ways that are sure to be unforgettable for both parties," adds Bensusan.
Available Blue Note Travel Cuba itineraries include "City & Countryside," which spotlights Havana's urban life with an escape to the countryside (available May 7-11 and July 2-6); "Cuba Past & Present," highlighting Cuba's central countryside, focusing on the country's history with a vintage theme (available June 10-16); "Havana Weekend," designed for busy people who want to full experience Cuba's vibrant capital city on a short schedule (available June 19-22); and "Havana, Santiago & Baracoa," spotlighting visits to three of Cuba's most dynamic cities in one trip experience (dates to be announced).
All Cuba itineraries will feature special activities such as exclusive dance and jazz performances, gallery and museum visits, among other opportunities that highlight Cuba's rich arts and cultural community.
For more information on Blue Note Travel and its various offerings, please visit bluenotetravel.com.
About Blue Note Entertainment Group:
Blue Note Entertainment Group, founded in 1981 by Danny Bensusan, is a multi-faceted entertainment company that owns and operates New York's Blue Note Jazz Club, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Highline Ballroom, Subrosa, and Lucille's Grill; The Howard Theatre (Washington D.C.); and Blue Note Jazz Clubs Worldwide (Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy). The company also programs the Regattabar Jazz Club (Cambridge, MA). Blue Note Entertainment Group presents shows outside of its club network. The annual Blue Note Jazz Festival was established in 2011 and has since grown to become the largest jazz festival in New York City each June. Subsidiaries of Blue Note Entertainment Group include the GRAMMY®-nominated record label Half Note Records, whose catalogue includes over fifty titles recorded live at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club, as well as Blue Note Media Group, Management Group and Travel.