FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty member Joseph Galvin and retired Jacobs professorMichael Spiro have been nominated for a Cubadisco Award for Best Music Documentary for their film “Los Bandos: Rumba en Cazuela.”
The equivalent of the U.S. Grammys and Oscars combined, the awards will be presented in Havana this weekend, May 22 and 23, as the culmination of Cubadisco, an annual week-long music festival and awards event celebrating Cuban music.
This is Spiro’s second Cubadisco nomination and Galvin’s first. Spiro was nominated with Jose Luis Gomez and Los Rumberos de la Bahía in 2019 for their “Mabagwe” release, the first foreign record to be nominated for a Cubadisco.
“Michael and I are thrilled to receive a 2021 Cubadisco nomination for ‘Los Bandos: Rumba en Cazuela,’” said Galvin. “We devoted many hours to planning, filming and editing the project over the past several years, and we were fortunate to collaborate with an outstanding international crew of artists and engineers, including the Jacobs School of Music’s own Jacob Belser for the audio editing portion. The nomination is a wonderful recognition of all the hard work everyone put into creating this film.”
Released in December 2020, “Los Bandos” documents the origins of Cuban rumba from the city of Matanzas, featuring the best rumberos from “Las Atenas de Cuba” (“The Athens of Cuba”) performing traditional rumbas.
Half documentary and half concert, the 67-minute film explores the first rumbas sung on the streets of Matanzas, from as far back as 1910.
They are the songs that eventually gave rise to the rumbas now performed by such world-renowned groups as Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Afro-Cuba de Matanzas. The music is supplemented with interviews of the performers discussing their lifetime involvement with this cultural phenomenon.
The seed for the project was planted when Spiro heard Dolores Pérez Herrera—his madrina, or religious godmother, and one of the founding members of Afro-Cuba de Matanzas—sing an old rumba years ago. He became intent on initiating a project to preserve as much of that repertoire as she could remember, and she enthusiastically agreed.
A few years later, Spiro invited Jacobs School colleague Galvin to coproduce the project with him through Ritmos Unidos Productions, an entity they had previously created to blend music traditions from across the Americas in contemporary and unique combinations. They then teamed with Cuban arts collective El Almacén, directed by Luis Bran.
Galvin said he and Spiro started planning the project in late 2018 then flew to Mantanzas for filming in May 2019, one of their many trips to Cuba together.
“Joe and I are very proud to have partnered with El Almacén to produce this project,” said Spiro. “We think it is artistically beautiful, historically invaluable and culturally profound, and we truly believe it will stand the test of time. We want to specifically thank Luis Bran, Aliesky Pérez, Orlando Álvarez, Odalys Fuentes and Juan García for going above and beyond with their contributions and assistance. We hope people get as much pleasure watching and listening to this as we did producing it.”
For more information and to watch “Los Bandos: Rumba en Cazuela” and its trailer, visit the production website.