The Havana International Jazz Plaza Festival was born in 1978 when some well-know Cuban jazz musicians such as Bobby Carcasses presented a jazz concert in the Casa de la Cultura de Plaza in downtown Havana.
This is the origin of the title International Jazz Festival Plaza, because it finds its birth in this open-air venue.
The Casa de la Cultura de Plaza hall and pleasant intimate terrace, is still one of the places where concerts and jam sessions take place.
Based on this success, another jazz fest was organized the following year, incorporating Chucho Valdés.
Renowned artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Charlie Haden, Roy Hargrove, Jack DeJohnette, Danilo Perez became part of the Havana scene on a regular basis. In 1996, Chucho Valdés became President of the Organizing Committee and artistic director.
The Jazz Fest has since expanded even further to include all the main concert halls in down town Havana, not to mention impromptu street jam sessions along the Malecon.