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About Buena Vista Social Club
The band are named after the Buena Vista Social Club which was a members club in Havana that held dances and musical activities, becoming a popular location for musicians to meet and play during the 1940s.
In the 1990s, nearly 40 years after the club was closed, it inspired a recording made by American guitarist Ry Cooder with traditional Cuban musicians, some of whom were veteran performers at the club during the height of its popularity. They went to Havana and assembled the best traditional musicians in Cuba to make an album of Son music, which had not been exposed internationally since pre-revolutionary days. Many of these musicians had been forgotten and some had even given up playing. The recording became an international success, and the ensemble performed with a full line-up in Amsterdam in 1998.
German director, Wim Wenders captured the performance on film, followed by a second concert in Carnegie Hall, New York City for a documentary that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. Wenders's film, also called Buena Vista Social Club, was released to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Documentary Feature" Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.
The success of both the album and film sparked a revival of international interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general. Some of the Cuban performers later released well-received solo albums and recorded collaborations with international stars from different musical genres.