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    Havana Club Rumba Sessions: La Clave A documentary taking you deep into the heartbeat of Cuban rumba


    • La Clave premiere at the Institute for Contemporary Arts , followed by Q&A, on November 17th 2015 - LONDON, UK
    • Screening and live rumba session at the Lula Lounge on February 4th, 2016 - TORONTO, CANADA - with a performance by Afro-Cuban band Iya - Iré 

    • New screenings at the Institute for Contemporary Arts   - Many dates in February LONDON, UK

    • Screening at the Lexi Cinema on February 21st 2016 - LONDON, UK

    • Screening at Phoenix Cinema on February 28th 2016 - LONDON, UK

    • Screening at Lexi Cinema on February 28th - LONDON, UK

    • Screening at The Cube on March 4th 2016 - BRISTOL, UK

    • Screening at Picture House on March 5th 2016 - BRIGHTON, UK - with an introduction by Gilles Peterson

    • Screening at Babylon on March 7th,  8th & 9th 2016 - BERLIN, GERMANY

    • Screening at FACT on March 13th 2016 - LIVERPOOL, UK - with an introduction by ethnomusicologist Crispin Robinson

    • Screening at Arts Picturehouse on March 21st 2016 - CAMBRIDGE, UK 

    • Screening at Center for the Arts Eagle Rock on March 28th 2016 -  LOS ANGELES, USA - with a concert by Daymé Arocena 

    • Screening at the Mockingbird Theater on April 3rd 2016 - BIRMINGHAM, UK -  with an introduction by ethnomusicologist Crispin Robinson 
    • Screening at Cully Jazz on April 12th 2016 - CULLY, SWITZERLAND - with a concert by Daymé Arocena

    • Screening at Monk Club on April 14th 2016  - ROME, ITALY - with a concert by Daymé Arocena and Rumberos de Hoy

    • Screening at Bilko Club on April 15th 2016 - MILAN, ITALY - with a concert by Daymé Arocena and Rumberos de Hoy

    • Screening at La Bellevilloise on April 17th 2016 - PARIS, FRANCE - with a concert by Daymé Arocena and Rumberos de Hoy 

    • Screening at AB Club on April 20th 2016 - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - with a concert by Daymé Arocena

    • Screening at La Línea on April 21st 2016- LONDON, UK - with concert by Daymé Arocena

    • Screening at Prince Charles on April 24th 2016 - BERLIN, GERMANY - with concert by Daymé Arocena and Rumberos de Hoy + DJ set by Gilles Peterson

    • Screening at the Africa Festival on May 26th 2016 - WURZBURG, GERMANY


    Havana Club Rumba Sessions - La Clave 

    The latest chapter in the longstanding relationship between Gilles Peterson, Havana Cultura and the music of Cuba, this feature-length documentary by Charlie Inman sees him explore the roots of rumba through interviews with leading figures of the rumba scene in Cuba — from Muñequitos de Matanzas and Clave and Guaguancó to Rumberos de Cuba, Osain del Monte, Timbalaye and Raíces Profundas.  

    Produced in collaboration with rum maker Havana Club – that created the Havana Cultura platform to promote contemporary Cuban culture –, it's another chapter in a six-year relationship that's already given vital exposure to different aspects of Cuban's thriving music culture. This film is about tracing the through lines running from slave communities' spiritual drumming practices, the dancers and musicians who've preserved those traditions, through to the younger generation who've plucked out and 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. As such, the religious and social realities instituted by the African diaspora have a distinct, if complex, connection to the rhythms foundational to contemporary club music. 

    The three main styles of rumba are guaganco, yambu and columbia. As well as forming an important part of the documentary, unpacking these differing styles has become an important part of the wider Havana Cultura project's exploration of rumba. 

    Havana Club Rumba Sessions - Album 

    Where the film depicts the lineage descending from the working class communities of Havana and Matanzas to modern-day dancefloors, this other arm of the project allows for an exciting, global re-interpretation of rumba's roots. The recordings of rumba's three central styles were handed to a crop of producers working in the orbit of club music's most interesting areas.  

    The result is Havana Club Rumba Sessions, collection of remixes as varied as you'd expect from a roster of producers plucked from locales spread from South London, Japan and beyond. 

    Berlin-based Max Graef & Glenn Astro deliver a kickdrum-sprung workout in a style that pays testament to free and easy hip hop beatmaking that's long been their m.o.; Motor City Drum Ensemble's four-to-the-floor arrangement loops things up into a hypnotic slow burn; Japan's Daisuke Tanabe & Yosi Horikawa tease out the rhythm to a careful interplay between percussion and undercurrents of bass; France's dEbruit ratchets up the tempo in a beautifully polished rework that slots the click and clatter of the percussion into a steady bounce; Pablo Fierro takes things in similarly intense fashion, paring things down in a  mix geared for the dancefloor at peak time; Canada-based Poirier's mix keeps things steady, while delicate melodies add an emotive edge.

    The final mixes come from four of the producers rooted in South London's 22a collective, the first of which is by Reginald Omas Mamode IV who folds the Cuban rhythm into a  disjointed construction, making it work in ways it shouldn't; Tenderlonious keeps things sparse and atmospheric, spreading out moody chords and a vocal from Daymé Arocena; Al Dobson Jr's version starts off tightly wound and gradually unspools into a sharp focus on the groove; Mo Kolours meshes together snatches of vocal, wandering horns and lush chords with the shifting patterns of clave-led percussion.

    Sample pack

    In addition to offering the recordings to producers who join the dots between the globally scattered styles which have long been represented by Peterson on his label, radio shows and DJ sets, there will also be a free sample pack of stems for producers to re-work and incorporate into their own music. 

    It's a unique opportunity to gain access to recordings of the rhythms, guaganco, yambu and columbia, central to Cuban rumba, performed by some of its most esteemed players. The idea behind it is to open up Cuban music culture, already the product of intermingling histories on the Caribbean island, to even more international interpolations across aspiring producers spread all over.  



    • 1 Osain del Monte
    • 2 Raíces Profundas
    • 3 Muñequitos de Matanzas
    • 4 Clave y Guaguancó
    • 5 Timbalaye
    • 6 Recording at EGREM