Guitarist and producer Ry Cooder arrived in Havana to take part in a project that would mix Cuban and African music.
Argelian musicians could not travel to Cuba due to migratory issues. Nevertheless, Cooder along with his son Joachim made good use of this opportunity and they contacted Cuban artist to record traditional sones. Cuban musicians that answered his call created the album Buena Vista Social Club but they never imagined that the record would become a global success.
Album Buena Vista Social Club
The production included well-known Cuban tunes such as Chan Chan, El cuarto de Tula and El carretero. The album turned out to be a revelation and it was presented in Ámsterdam.
The filmmaker Wim Wenders captured Buena Vista’s concerts in Ámsterdam and New York. From those shots, a documentary came out. The film also included interviews with the musicians.
The documentary received a nomination to the Academy Awards and a number of other honours such as the European Film Award.
One of its key achievements was that the film succeeded in drawing the attention of the audiences around the globe to Cuban Music.
Other relevant members of the project were the photographer Susan Titelman, and Nick Gold, the owner of the British company World Circuit Ltd. Records.
Ochoa joined the project thanks to the musician Juan de Marcos. He, through a radio programme directed by Eduardo Rosillo, made a call demanding Ochoa to come urgently to Havana.
Ever since until now, the members of Buena Vista Social Club have offered countless live concerts performing rhythms such as son, bolero, guajira, guaracha and danzón. The project has brought together national and international musicians.