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Ernesto Lecuona: A musical journey through time as el 'El Maestro' documentary spotlights his 60 year legacy

A fantastic new documentary screening on Ernesto Lecuona is brought to life with performances by the genius musician and Cuban piano virtuoso Aldo López-Gavilan

The Sanctuary of the Arts in Coral Gables is set to host a captivating three-day event on December 7, 8, and 9, dedicated to celebrating the remarkable life and prolific work of Ernesto Lecuona. At the heart of this event is the screening of "Ernesto Lecuona - El Maestro," a documentary by Isabel Custer that pays homage to the legendary Cuban composer. Adding to the allure of this event is the narration by Andy Garcia and the participation of the Cuban piano virtuoso Aldo López-Gavilan.

Calle Ocho News had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Isabel Custer, the creative force behind the documentary, the exceptionally talented Aldo López-Gavilan and Rafi Maldonado-Lopez, the Principal Managing Director of Sanctuary of the Arts.

Lopez-Maldonado and Sanctuary of the Arts

Maldonado-Lopez passionately discusses with us their commitment to delivering world-class entertainment at Sanctuary of the Arts and celebrating South Florida's diverse communities. The upcoming concert is a testament to their dedication and emphasizes that Lecuona's music transcends cultural boundaries.

This event not only pays homage to the invaluable contributions of the Cuban-American community but also serves as a global tribute to the genius of Ernesto Lecuona. With over 600 compositions, Lecuona's artistic legacy is vast and multifaceted, including film scores and ballets. Hits like "Guajiro" have resonated with audiences worldwide, making his work universally cherished.

Isabel Custer's Inspiration for "El Maestro"

The genesis of the captivating documentary "El Maestro" can be traced back to a conversation between Isabel Custer and Mike Eidson, the co-founder of the Sanctuary of the Arts. Eidson's vision was to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Ernesto Lecuona's passing with a special tribute that would not only honor his legacy but also introduce his genius to a broader audience.

Ernesto Lecuona is celebrated primarily for his monumental contributions as a composer. He is credited with elevating Cuban music to classical heights, leaving an indelible mark on the music world. Yet, despite his extraordinary achievements, Lecuona's name and legacy remained somewhat confined to the Cuban community.

Celebrating Cuban Music and Culture

For Isabel Custer, a Miami native with a background in songwriting, singing, and filmmaking, this endeavor presented a perfect synergy between her talents and her passion for preserving cultural legacies. She embarked on a journey to create a documentary that would not only shed light on Lecuona's genius but also showcase his profound impact on the world of music.

"Ernesto Lecuona, El Maestro" is a testament to Custer's unwavering dedication and passion for her subject matter. It is a labor of love that captures the essence of Lecuona's genius and profound connection to Cuba. Custer hopes that through her documentary, audiences will not only discover the extraordinary talent of El Maestro but also develop a deep appreciation for his contribution to music and culture.

The documentary provides a poignant entry point for those eager to explore the rich tapestry of Lecuona's work, offering a glimpse into the heart and soul of this musical luminary. As the screening of "El Maestro" takes center stage at the Sanctuary of the Arts in Coral Gables this December, attendees can expect to be profoundly moved by the captivating story of Ernesto Lecuona.

Cuban maestro Aldo López-Gavilán to enchant audience in tribute to composer Ernesto Lecuona

Celebrated Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán is set to headline a concert coinciding with the premiere of a documentary honoring the legendary Cuban composer, Ernesto Lecuona. López-Gavilán recently discussed his involvement in the event and his admiration for Lecuona's musical legacy.

López-Gavilán's participation in the project results from his professional collaborations with Gary Sheldon, the music director and principal conductor of the Miami City Ballet. Sheldon, recognizing López-Gavilán's exceptional talent and affinity for Lecuona's compositions, invited him to headline the event. The Cuban pianist expressed profound honor and excitement at the prospect of performing a comprehensive program of Lecuona's compositions, marking a milestone in his illustrious career.

López-Gavilán breathes fresh life into Lecuona's timeless melodies

Ernesto Lecuona's enduring influence on the music world deeply resonates with López-Gavilán. He draws inspiration from Lecuona's remarkable ability to seamlessly blend diverse musical genres, combining traditional and popular elements with classical compositions. López-Gavilán also admires Lecuona's prolific output, which extends beyond piano mastery to encompass compositions for zarzuelas, operas, films, and musicals. These facets of Lecuona's legacy have profoundly influenced López-Gavilán's approach to arranging and performing the composer's music.

As the headliner of the upcoming concert, López-Gavilán aims to pay homage to Lecuona by embracing the same open-minded creative spirit that defined the composer's work. Concert attendees can anticipate a diverse selection of Lecuona's compositions, ranging from his most renowned pieces to lesser-known gems. López-Gavilán has meticulously crafted arrangements that breathe new life into Lecuona's timeless works, promising a captivating and memorable celebration of the composer's musical heritage.

Don't miss your chance to immerse yourself in the world of Ernesto Lecuona and experience the magic of his music coming to life. Join us at the Sanctuary of the Arts in Coral Gables from December 7,8, and 9, starting at 7:30 PM, for an unforgettable three-day celebration of this musical legend. Be sure to arrive early at 7:00 PM to soak in the ambiance and prepare to be mesmerized by original choreographies set to Lecuona's timeless compositions performed by the Sanctuary of the Arts Choreographic Ensemble. Get ready for an evening of pure artistic delight!

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