Meet Dan Callis
I’ve been traveling to Cuba since the early 1990’s. My first visits were to Santiago de Cuba, where I was instantly taken by the beauty of the place, the friendly people and the music. I’ll never forget getting off the bus Parque Cespedes and walking a few meters to La Casa de la Trova. Wow! The music! I was hooked. After returning to Santiago de Cuba several times, a friend suggested we try Havana. We found Havana to be an endlessly fascinating place. We found jazz clubs that blew our minds, son groups playing for tourists that were so numerous and talented, I just can’t begin to describe them - and the salsa, or ‘timba’ groups who don’t even start playing until midnight. Then there was the folkloric music, which stole my heart, mind, and soul - rumba, abakua, and the religious bata drums. I was hooked all over again. I spent 15 years hunting out the folkloric music and the great people who play these drums and dance and sing this beautiful music. I’ve done workshops in Havana and Matanzas with the best groups. I met musicians whose American contemporaries I would never have an opportunity to meet. In Havana they invite you into their homes! A world like no other. I’ve been so fascinated by Havana I forgot to take pictures. I can’t explain why. I’ve been a photographer my entire life. That’s where the idea was born to start the Havana Photography Workshops - a half dozen like-minded people exploring a city that has captivated me for years.