Santiago, Cuba

Tropikordia Foundation is pleased to be partnering with the American arm of Luthiers Sans Frontières, an international organization that provides repair services to musicians, orchestras and ensembles in areas where no local services are available.

In the greater Santiago region of eastern Cuba, there are a number of orchestras and over 1000 string players. The challenges of keeping all these instruments in playable condition are daunting, indeed. Spare parts of any kind are impossible to find, and musicians there are adept at repurposing materials. Functional violin strings are fashioned from the steel treads of automobile tires!


In March 2015, the Tropikordia Foundation provided bundles of horsehair to help re-hair bows in Santiago. Each bundle will re-hair about 75 bows. The bow is the soul of the string instrument; far too frequently, we find young musicians playing on bows with less than 10% of the hair left.


The Foundation also provided a number of sets of Wittner pegs. The normal friction pegs don't work very well in the intense heat and humidity of eastern Cuba, so these geared pegs are the preferred solution.

The Foundation would like to thank Martin Nitsche of Luthiers Sans Frontières for all his help in forging this partnership. He has hand-carried all these supplies to Cuba and enabled the musicians of eastern Cuba to maintain their instruments so that their music can flow unimpeded.