The place chosen for the premiere of the documentary Retrato de una diva (Portrait of a diva) was Pabellon Cuba’s Salon de Mayo in the Cuban capital city. This audiovisual presentation proposes a new approach to the figure of singer Omara Portuondo led by the experienced filmmaker Ileana Rodriguez.
The premiere, which took place in the context of the 11th Colloquium of Jazz Plaza Festival, was a pretext to know a little more about the Diva of the Buena Vista Social Club as she is also known, but in a very peculiar way because the documentary takes place in the middle of the recording sessions from her album Magia Negra (Black Magic).
Rodriguez, who is also the scriptwriter, managed to capture in the audiovisual presentation the creative atmosphere of the studio where Portuondo was accompanied by several generations of talented musicians such as pianist Rolando Luna, bassist Gaston Joya, drummer Rodney Barreto, the trumpeter Alexander Abreu, and percussionist Andrew Coayo, among others.
“That was precisely the idea of the documentary,” said the director during the presentation, “to show Omara in her natural environment, between the musicians and in the creative process”.
Omara is an invaluable artist for Cuban culture as it proves her art and the statements of the musicians from her group who feel an immense appreciation for her, added the director.
Throughout the audiovisual you can see Omara Portuondo loving what she does and enjoying it with an almost youthful spirit despite her age. Moreover, each of the interviewees, among which there is also singer Amaury Perez, testifies to her artistic sensitivity, humanism and Cuban sense.
With this documentary, Magia Negra album takes another step as it allows sound sensations to complement with other elements in this approach to one of the greatest singers of Cuba.