Spain, 2015, 114 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Pavel Giroud & Juan Manuel Villar Betancort, Not Rated, Spanish with English subtitles
"A lushly produced tribute boasting excellent performances." - John De Fore, Hollywood Reporter
Ernesto Lecuona is the Cuban Gershwin, a peerless pianist and composer of suites, zarzuelas (María La O) and classic songs like "Siboney" and the Oscar-nominated "Siempre en mi corazón". He went into exile in 1960 and died of a heart attack three years later in Tenerife, Canary Islands, while visiting the land of his father. It is fitting that Tenerife native producer-director JuanMa Villar Betancort in collaboration with Cuban director Pavel Giroud have undertaken, not a biography, but a musical journey from Cuba to Spain - via the U.S. - to demonstrate the timeless virtue of Lecuona's music. Their proponents are masters in their own right, a matchless trio of Grammy-laden pianist/composers, to wit, Cuba's greatest living musician Chucho Valdes, Dominican keyboard wizard Michel Camilo, and introspective stylist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Underscoring the case for Lecuona is a stellar supporting cast that includes ageless vocalist Omara Portuondo (Buena Vista Social Club), pioneer rumberos Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Spanish pop icon Ana Belén and leading Flamenco stars Raimundo Amador and Esperanza Fernandez. Yes, Lecuona is alive and well - and thriving wherever music is heard.
Starting Thursday, July 7 at 9:00 pm, Executive Producer and Co-Director JuanMa Villar Betancort will be in attendance for all screenings doing introductions and Q&A sessions for his film.