Albita: Cuban Masterworks – Toda Una Vida
Supervisor of Community Outreach/Events
The one-hour performance, broadcast on Sunday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. on WPBT2, captures the Cuban songstress Albita’s mastery of her music. The documentary perfectly illustrates the singular style that has made Albita so beloved throughout the world. Produced and directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker, JoeCardona, Toda Una Vida, Cuban Masterworks was filmed live in Albita’s studio as she recorded the album.
Shot over two days in early September 2010, the film shows a rare glimpse of a true master at work. There is no manipulation of sound, but just the raw power of Albita’s acclaimed voice. The music is an eclectic mix of classic Cuban musical genres, including Rumba, Son, Changui and Bolero, guiding listeners along a lyrical journey through Albita’s life. Albita hits her musical stride, flawlessly interpreting the songs of her soul and life. It is a presentation that displays the rich tradition of the Cuban songbook – and Albita’s raw, sultry voice – in a way few people have ever experienced before.
“I was speaking with PBS and we wanted to feature someone who had an international appeal,” says director, Joe Cordona. “Albita was our first choice. I called her and told her we wanted to do a documentary, and she happened to be working a new album of old Cuban standards. That’s when we decided to do the documentary as she recorded. That choice allowed us to achieve an intimacy that we might not have had otherwise. Albita is a true craftsman. She’s in total control of her voice and it shows in her performance. The film really turned into a lightening in a bottle moment.”
Honored with highest award given to selected artists in Cuba, the “National Culture Award of Cuba”, Albita is the most authentic Cuban singer hailing from Havana. She has been able to move the world through her music. Since arriving in Miami, FL in 1993, her electrifying and mesmerizing performances of contagious Cuban music has elevated her career to an international level. She has traveled throughout Europe, Latin America, Australia, Africa and Malaysia. Her high-energy shows combine all genres of Cuban music: Rumba, Mambo, Son, Afro-Cuban rhythms and Folk. She does it with true authenticity and adherence to her Cuban roots. Her live performances are riveting and unforgettable, displaying a true artist who is here to stay.
About the Director
Award-winning Miami filmmaker, Joe Cardona, has produced fourteen documentaries and two feature films. Eleven of those have been shown nationally on PBS, and nine have aired internationally. He has participated in film festivals around the world, including in Tribeca, Greece, Italy, Spain and Japan. Born in Miami, Joe’s parents escaped Cuba in 1960 and journeyed to Miami. Joe’s primary focus as a documentarian has been capturing the experience of Cuban exiles in the United States. Today, he has become the most recognized chronicler of the Cuban‐American experience. Presently, he is working on a documentary about Haiti, focusing on the embattled island’s past, present and future.
Filmography: Adios Patria, 1994; Café con leche, 1996; Flight of Pedro Pan, 1998; Honey Girl, 1997; Havana: Portrait of Yesteryear, 1997; Jose Marti: Legacy of Freedom, 2000; Celia The Queen, 2008
South Florida’s premier public broadcaster, WPBT2, is a community-licensed, not-for-profit media enterprise serving communities from the Treasure Coast to the Florida Keys. WPBT2 provides high quality content from PBS, independent acquisitions and its own original productions. WPBT2’s digital media platform, offers: 2HD, a 24-hour high definition channel; Digital 2.2, a mix of Science & Nature Channel, The Florida Channel and Create; Digital 2.3, V-me, a 24-hour national Spanish-language network; and www.wpbt2.org, the WPBT2 website including, Impromp2 (a community blog), the WPBT2 Video Player and uVu, a video sharing website.