Cuba, 2016
Spanish with English subtitles | 110 min
Directors/Writers: Pavel Giroud & JuanMa Villar Betancort

Saturday, Sept 2
5:15 PM | The Cinematheque


Playing Lecuona is a musical journey through the works and living spaces of Ernesto Lecuona, the internationally acclaimed Cuban pianist and piano composer. Serving as guides through Lecuona’s music are three of the most gifted Latin jazz pianists in the world: Chucho Valdés, Michel Camilo, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Valdés fuses Latin jazz together with Afro-Cuban rhythms in Lecuona’s native Havana; Camilo recreates elegant aural soundscapes in New York and the Canary Islands; and Rubalcaba fuses jazz and flamenco in Seville, the heart of Andalusian Spain. Together, these three musicians provide a rich portrait of Lecuona’s music and its lasting influence.

A top-notch performance-based tribute to legendary Cuban pianist Ernesto Lecuona, Playing Lecuona shows how his influence is manifest, a century after he stepped onto the world stage.John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter

Playing Lecuona es un viaje musical a través de la obra y espacios vitales de Ernesto Lecuona, el pianista y compositor de piano más universal en Iberoamérica. Para esta odisea y tributo, los tres pianistas más destacados del latin-jazz mundial se unen para servirnos como guías: Chucho Valdés, Michel Camilo y Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Valdés junta el latin-jazz con los ritmos afro-cubanos de Habana, ciudad natal de Lecuona; Camilo recrea paisajes sonoros en Nueva York y las Islas Canarias; y Rubalcaba funde el jazz y el flamenco en Sevilla, ciudad inspiradora para Lecuona.

Producer: JuanMa Villar Betancort
Cinematography: Santiago Torres Marrero
Editors: Ximena Alejandra, José Jorge
Cast: Ernesto Lecuona, Chucho Valdés, Michel Camilo & Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Pavel Giroud (Havana, Cuba, 1973) worked as an art director and painter before pursuing filmmaking. His first solo feature film, La edad de la peseta (2006) premiered at TIFF and was nominated for a Goya Award. JuanMa Villar Betancort (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain) has directed several short films; Playing Lecuona is his first feature documentary.

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