- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

HAVANA (AP) - Members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are in Cuba for the second time in a year, this time to distribute a planeload of instruments to promising young musicians at four Havana schools.

The Horns for Havana project grew out of a much higher profile visit to Cuba last year that was headlined by Jazz at Lincoln Center legend Wynton Marsalis.

Carlos Henriquez, a composer and arranger for the New York-based troupe who organized the project, said Wednesday that he and other musicians on the earlier trip were deeply affected by the talented young musicians they met but disturbed by their lack of good instruments.

Many of the youths had broken or worn-out instruments, including guitars without strings, trumpets without valves and violins with cracked wood.

This timed, Henriquez and other musicians brought enough equipment for four complete acoustic jazz orchestras. They valued the instruments at $250,000.

“We are here for the kids,” Henriquez said.