SAUL LANDAU MEMORIAL CONCERT
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Concert with Cuban singer/musician Mayito Rivera, the “Poet of La Rumba”, and friends in celebration of the life of the late filmmaker, author, and human rights activist Saul Landau.
Joining Mayito will be the Afro-Cuban group Pellejo Seco, folkloric dance troupe from Santiago de Cuba, Siete Potencias and guitarist Jose Roberto Hernandez
Saul Landau produced more than 40 films and TV programs, 14 books, and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles and reviews. Among his numerous accolades, Saul received an Emmy and a George Polk Award for “Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang,” a film he directed with Jack Willis in 1980 about the cover-up of health hazards related to 1950s atomic bomb testing. His film “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?” exposed the true story of the Cuban 5, Cuban nationals who have been political prisoners in the U.S. since 1998, a cause Saul dedicated much of his last years to.
Proceeds from this concert will go to Saul’s unfinished film “Cuba: Out of the Closet, Into the Rainbow” about Cuba’s homosexual community and societal changes.
Organized by International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, La Bohemia Productions, Martinez & Associates
MAYITO RIVERA, El Poeta de la Rumba
Mario “Mayito” Rivera is without a doubt one of Cuba’s most notable singers. He spent more than 20 years as the characteristic voice and face of the extremely successful Cuban band, Los Van Van.
“Mayito” was born as Mario Enrique Rivera Godínez on January 19, 1966 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s westernmost province, where the art of making Cuban cigars is based. He began his musical education while still a child. Eventually he graduated in percussion from the renowned Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) before going on to complete an advanced degree at the Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba’s university for the arts.
At the age of 26, Mayito was discovered for the already-legendary orchestra Los Van Van by its musical director, Juan Formell. The freshness of his style enabled Los Van Van to achieve lasting success worldwide. He sang the band’s many salsa dance hits, for which he was rewarded with a Latin Grammy and two nominations. In 1999 he released his first solo album, Pa’ bachatear … Chappotín, on which he brilliantly catapulted traditional Latin tunes by a master of a past era—Jesús Ángel Chappotín—into the modern age. In 2005, his second solo album, Negrito Bailador, was published under Germany-based Termidor’s Timba label. Mayito himself composed all of the songs, which are based on rumba rhythms: powerful, upbeat, and timelessly good. The album was subsequently released in the United States under the title Llegó la Hora and almost immediately nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category “Best Salsa Album of the Year”.
7 Potencias is a dance company that features Afro-Cuban traditions from the eastern coast of Cuba, known in Cuba as Oriente. It was founded by a close group of friends that grew up in the same small city in Oriente and studied together at performing arts schools and universities in both Oriente and Havana. This close-knit group of musicians and dancers has participated in numerous national and international events and festivals. Since their recent arrival, 7 Potencias has conducted a series of workshops and performances in preparation for their 15th anniversary.
Pellejo Seco- A Cuban Son band based out of San Francisco’s Bay Area.With their “Experimental Son Cubano”,they skillfully blend strands of various musical genres from blues, rock, jazz, flamenco to hip-hop, with the unmistakable sound of Cuban Son and the yearning melodies of the Cuban troubadour.. Pellejo Seco began in mid 2004, and by 2006 had already produced its first successful album entitled: “Enganchate,” which means: “get hooked.”It’s definitely easy to get hooked to this band’s charming and sexy tunes. In 2008 Pellejo Seco released its second album entitled "Despierta" with special guest Jazz Album Latin Grammy-nominated Chuchito Valdes.