Cuban students to play with Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A trip many thought would never happen. Talented music students from Cuba are visiting - and playing- in Chicago.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
founder Orbert Davis was teaching a high school class in Havana, Cuba, when the diplomatic thaw began. In an unprecedented move, the young musicians were allowed to visit the University of Chicago.

"Since we were there when the announcement was made I told the students just this morning that they are a part of history. And we have a responsibility to carry that relationship through," Davis said.

The students are in Chicago through the week. They'll get a chance to see the sights and study with some of the best jazz musicians in the music industry, including Davis.

"It is an incredible experience and I want to learn a lot from Orbert," Jorge Carlos Cespedes Stotolongo said.

Organizers hope this is just the beginning of a cultural and musical exchange.

Nine students are already in Chicago and 20 more will arrive later this week for a series of workshops and lessons. On Friday, the students will perform with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic at the Auditorium Theatre.

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