September 24, 2015 at 7:20 AM ET [The Brand Phoenix] – The Poet of Havana pulls back the curtain on internationally renowned Cuban singer, songwriter, and lyricist Carlos Varela as he celebrates his 30th anniversary as an artist. Filmed in Havana, this moving documentary reveals how Varela was influenced by his country, politics and people, and how he has influenced them in return through his music.
The concert special is directed and produced by Ron Chapman. Producer, director and entrepreneur, Ron Chapman began his career as a musician, and went on to manage musical artists and produce albums. His legendary Toronto music club “The Edge” provided a scene for some of the most exciting international artists of the day, and he promoted concerts in the city’s premier venues. He established a film production company, produced and directed rock videos, and for decades has produced and directed television commercials for some of the world’s leading brands. Chapman founded the successful Canadian advertising agency Brandworks International.
Featuring exclusive access and backstage moments during a variety of concerts, the film includes interviews with Jackson Browne, Benicio del Toro, Ivan Lins, Luis Enrique, and more as they discuss one of the most beloved artists of our time – some even joining him on stage. Also featured throughout the special are many of his emotionally-charged performances and songs.
Having endured many censorship battles with the Cuban government, Varela’s music is personal, poignant, and poetic; he has even been called “Cuba’s Bob Dylan” and a voice of his generation. That voice has loudly struggled for the individual freedoms of his homeland and has gone through great effort to build bridges between Cuba, the US, disenfranchised Cubans and the people of the world. Discover the musical, cultural, political and social significance that is Carlos Varela in The Poet of Havana airing on October 23, 2015 at 8PM ET/7PM CT on HBO Latino. You can also catch the special on HBO on Demand, HBO GO and HBO Now.
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