I wanted to share my love of Cuban music with the world and give these devoted musicians some well-deserved recognition and acknowledgement. Some twenty years after The Buena Vista Social Club the traditional music of Cuba lives on, but it's facing a threat from foreign styles and disinterested youth.
My goal was to explore and celebrate the incredible diversity of Cuban Music, past and present and take the audience on a journey that leaves them dancing and craving for more.
In November 2016, with my elementary Spanish, I took a small crew to Cuba to commence filming. On the second day, while shooting a Tony Avila concert, the music stopped mid-song with the sudden announcement of Fidel Castro's death.
That was the first breakdown of many, as plans to travel the island were dashed by an enforced nine-day mourning period where music, dancing and drinking were banned.
Director Craig Miller & Co-Director Pedro Pulido on set in Havana, Cuba
Yet this opened up the opportunity of interviewing many of Cuba's great musicians in the intimacy of their homes.
Three more trips and the wonderful Cuban team of co-director, producer and editor resulted in Cuba My Soul. I like to call it a "Music Film" rather than a documentary. As a music film, it must have an excellent soundtrack and the idea arose to invite some of our artists to perform as special guests in a live concert. The first concert was awesome, on the rooftop of a thirteen-story building with a 360-degree panoramic view of Havana.
But after the first three songs were recorded the rain came... the crew dragged the gear inside and we couldn't continue. Hence we held a second concert, even better, that brought many of Cuba's legendary musicians together with virtuoso performances. Something quite special even for the Cubans.
The resulting soundtrack is a world-class recording that presents some brilliant music and captures these people's joy and love for their culture.
Music lies deep in their soul.
Craig Miller 2020