Playing Lecuona

In its 39th edition, the festival premiered the film shot in Cuba, the United States and Spain with excellent performances by pianists Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, of Cuba, and Michel Camilo, Dominican Republic.

The singers Omara Portuondo, Ana Belen and Lin Cortés, and the group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, participate in the movie that is a tribute toErnesto Lecuona, considered the most universal of Cuban musicians.

In the audiovisual, the Caribbean and flamenco rhythms join with elements of Afro-Cuban jazz to form a classic, fresh and renewed material.

Giroud directed the film La edad de la peseta and his career as documentary maker includes works like Celina (2001) Frank Emilio, love and piano (2005), Esther Borja, Rhapsody of Cuba (2005) and Manteca, Mondongo y bacalao (2007).

Meanwhile, Villas is a graduate of the Training Center of Spanish Television in Madrid and has worked since the 1990s as editor, editor and producer for TV.

Link to original report here

More about Ernesto Lecuona

Lecuona was a virtuoso pianist and the most important figure in Cuban music in the 20th Century. Lecuona's prodigious activities as a composer and performer were enormously influential not only throughout Cuba but also in the rest of Latin America, Spain and the United States. He composed the famous Malaguena.

Born in Guanabacoa, a suburb of Havana, in 1895, Lecuona first established himself as an outstanding pianist, graduating from the National Conservatory with the Gold Medal in performance at the age of seventeen. He went to New York City to concertize and there, in 1916, made his first public appearance outside of Havana. International success as a pianist occurred seven years later, once more in New York but, thanks to the huge success of pieces like Malaguena and Siboney, composition superceded pianism as Lecuona's primary activity. Still, Lecuona continued to actively tour and perform widely as pianist and conductor for most of his life.

Among Lecuona's many achievements were the founding of the Havana Symphony (with Gonzalo Roig), the Lecuona Cuban Boys Band, and La Orquesta de La Habana. Lecuona, also, wrote a great deal of film music in the '30s and '40s for such major studios as MGM, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers; in 1942, he was nominated for an Academy Award.