The Buena Vista Social Club

Monday, 31 December 2018 - 04:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Lorient/France © XIIIfromTOKYO/cc-by-sa-3.0

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Lorient/France © XIIIfromTOKYO/cc-by-sa-3.0

Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of Cuban musicians established in 1996 to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba. The project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members’ club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as son, bolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, many of whom had been retired for years.

The group’s eponymous album was recorded in March 1996 and released in September 1997, quickly becoming an international success, which prompted the ensemble to perform with a full line-up in Amsterdam and New York in 1998. German director Wim Wenders captured the performance on film for a documentary – also called Buena Vista Social Club – that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. Wenders’ film was released in June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards. This was followed up by a second documentary: Buena Vista Social Club: Adios in 2017.

Building, that housed the Buenavista Social Club in the 1940s © ecured.cu - Raidel jc playa/cc-by-sa-4.0 Jesús 'Aguaje' Ramos and his trombone at the White House in 2015 © Executive Office of the President of the United States - Chuck Kennedy Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Lorient/France © XIIIfromTOKYO/cc-by-sa-3.0 Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Freiburg/Germany in 2015 © Ice Boy Tell/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Jesús 'Aguaje' Ramos and his trombone at the White House in 2015 © Executive Office of the President of the United States - Chuck Kennedy
The success of both the album and film sparked a revival of interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general. Some of the Cuban performers later released well-received solo albums and recorded collaborations with stars from different musical genres. The “Buena Vista Social Club” name became an umbrella term to describe these performances and releases, and has been likened to a brand label that encapsulates Cuba’s “musical golden age” between the 1930s and 1950s. The new success was fleeting for the most recognizable artists in the ensemble: Compay Segundo, Rubén González, and Ibrahim Ferrer, who died at the ages of ninety-five, eighty-four, and seventy-eight respectively; Compay Segundo and González in 2003, then Ferrer in 2005.

Several surviving members of the Buena Vista Social Club, such as veteran singer Omara Portuondo, trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal, laúd player Barbarito Torres and trombonist and conductor Jesús “Aguaje” Ramos currently tour worldwide, to popular acclaim, with new members such as singer Carlos Calunga and pianist Rolando Luna, as part of a 13-member band called Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.

Read more on Wikipedia Buena Vista Social Club (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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