Havana Club Rumba Session: La Clave

Year: 2015

Genre: Documentary, Music/Musical

Duration: 78 mins

Starring: Gilles Peterson, Ade Egun Crispin Robinson, Dayme Arocena, Rumberos de Cuba, Osain del Monte, Raices Profundas, Munequitos de Matanzas, Timbalaye

Director: Charlie Inman

Directed by Charlie Inman, Havana Club Rumba Sessions: La Clave sees Gilles Peterson, along with his old friend Ade Egun Crispin Robinson, guide the audience through rumba's continued significance in a country where a carefully preserved past has long sat side-by-side with innovation. Highly respected both in the island's spiritual drumming community and as a session musician in the UK, Robinson connects Gilles to key figures across Cuba’s musical generations. Accompanied on their journey into Rumba by one of the shining lights of Cuba’s current music scene Daymé Arocena, the film traces lines running from slave communities' spiritual drumming practices, the dancers and musicians who've preserved those traditions, through to the younger generation who've re-contextualised the elements most exciting to them. The history of rumba, inextricably tied up with the slave trade, uniquely intertwines West African and Iberian musical styles. With roots in the Congo, Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon, different African religious institutions such as Ifa, Ekpe and Nkisi were remade in Cuba as Lukumi (Santeria), Palo, Abakua and Arara. The film draws together religious and social realities instituted by the African diaspora which have a distinct, if complex, connection to the rhythms foundational to contemporary club music.