Since 2016, Sound Diplomacy have been working with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to produce a development strategy for the Cuban Music Industry.

What we did:

  • Developed the platform and framework for music to be seen as an industrial, job-creation mechanism, the first of its kind for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

  • Championed the interests of grassroots and domestic artists by coordinating successful education strategies and building wide international networks. This included 4 week-long workshops in 3 different locations.

  • Supported the coordination of outbound Trade Mission.

  • Provided individual company consultation to 9 music companies.

  • Through the implementation of the work we delivered for UNIDO in Cuba, a new music city strategy for Santiago de Cuba is currently being developed. This strategy is expected to attract more visitors and increase the number of overnight stays as a result of music tourism.

  • The strategy delivered for Cuba aims to strengthen their existing international events, therefore generating more opportunities for music export.

Sound Diplomacy were commissioned to write a strategy to develop the music industry in Cuba. The project aims to increase music export by 30%, as well as achieve gender equality in the Cuban music industry, provide jobs for young people, provide music companies with updated technology and improve intellectual property rights.

Alongside delivering a comprehensive strategy in partnership with the Cuban Ministry of Culture, music companies and musicians, we are delivering a series of workshops on music business, music policy for government, music cities and music tourism, artist development, music publishing and intellectual property.


Five Years of Sound Diplomacy -
Music Strategy for Cuba

In September 2016, we were chosen by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to develop a music strategy for the most musical island in the world: Cuba. The project has been going on since then, and it has been one of the most amazing and challenging projects. I have met incredible professionals and the most talented musicians. The project is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and is supported by the Cuban Ministry of Culture.


The project consists of a series of workshops, roundtables and conferences that have taken Sound Diplomacy to Cuba on seven occasions, and there are still two more to come! Five members of our team and two external experts on sound engineering and IP law have travelled over to Cuba, and we have visited three different cities so far, with two more to come. We have all learnt a lot from the Cuban music industry, and have thoroughly enjoyed each trip.


Alongside this, the project has taken me to Mu:Con, in Seoul, to join a Cuban trade mission to the Korean capital. And we have also been with some of our Cuban friends in Barcelona and at Music Cities Convention Berlin.


During the project we have spoken with many representatives from the main music organisations on the island, learning about the challenges and assets of the music sector and discussing the opportunities and how they see the future of music in Cuba. From these conversations, we have developed a series of recommendations, some of which are being implemented at the moment. These recommendations cover everything from music education and skills to internationalisation or digitalisation. We also designed the first steps for a music city strategy in Santiago de Cuba, a music paradise on the Oriental side of the island.

You can find more information on the project here.