Bronx Museum presents screening of “La rumba me llama” and performance by Melvis Santa


On Friday, April 1, 6:00pm to 10:00pm, the Bronx Museum kicks off First Fridays! Havana Film Festival. Opening the 17th Annual Havana Film Festival New York there will be a screening of La rumba me llama and a special performance by Melvis Santa and The Ashedi Project, with music by DJ ASHO. (Free admission and cash bar.) The event will take place at the Bronx Museum, 2nd Floor North Wing and Lower Gallery (at 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street, Bronx, New York).

ABOUT THE FILM: La rumba me llama, 2015. 48 mins. Directed by Oliver Hill

La rumba me llama follows the development of rumba, a genre essential within the Cuban school of music, through interviews with its most emblematic practitioners. The film traces rumba from its roots to today, arguing for its influence in the both the everyday as well as in other types of music such as timba, jazz, and rap.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Oliver Hill was born in New York as the son of a Spanish mother and American father. He was raised between the US and Spain, but the beaches of the Caribbean beckoned from early on. In Havana he was introduced to a world previously known only through the discography of the island’s leading musicians. Among these musicians were rumberos who inspired him to create a documentary to share the magic of the genre by creating a documentary. Oliver attended Columbia University where he studied broadcast journalism, honing his ability to tell stories in written and visual forms. Following his degree in journalism he released his first feature documentary, “Coping with Babylon (2004) as a reedit of his master’s project. His fascination with themes of identity in Latin America and the Caribbean didn’t subside as he entered the world of financial journalism and he continued to pursue his passion of documentary filmmaking even as his work led him to travel the region and reside in Mexico and then Jamaica.

ABOUT THE PERFORMER: Singer, songwriter, Afro Cuban dancer and actress Melvis Santa began her professional music career at an early age, beginning at age 14 when she founded the collective vocal group Sexto Sentido, a project that jazz great Chucho Valdés defined as “the best Cuban vocal quartet of the past 30 years” in 2007. In 2010 Melvis appeared as one of the lead vocalists of Interactivo, a seminal Cuban fusion band touring across Europe and the United States. During this period she started developing a personal sound and musical concept, officially releasing her debut solo album in 2012 entitled Santa Habana. Based in New York since 2014, she continues to make a mark as a performer and teacher. Her latest project Melvis Santa and Ashedi – a trio that blends Afro & Cuban popular music with jazz influences – has appeared at the historic music venue Minton`s Playhouse, The Zinc Bar, Subrosa, The Jazz Gallery and BAM Café.

Melvis620[Credit: Melvis Santa, courtesy the artist.]

For more information about the Havana Film Festival New York, click here.

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