back to Photography


Ry Cooder caused an international sensation when he introduced the world to Cuba's son musicians with his 1997 CD Buena Vista Social Club. The CD, which met with extraordinary critical and popular success, went on to win a Grammy, and helped fuel America's current love affair with Latin music.

Buena Vista Social Club

In 1999 Wim Wenders released his documentary of the same name, in which he profiles the legendary Buena Vista Social Club musicians, recording their experiences as they perform in Cuba and abroad, eventually appearing at New York's Carnegie Hall. Hailed as "splendid ... a sheer delight" (New York Post), "glowing-embers documentary " (Washington Post) and "more incisive introduction to the peculiar world of Buena Vista than any live performance could provide" (The New York Observer), the film helped immortalize both the music and its now-famous practitioners who had been living in near poverty, all but forgotten in their own country.

Now, the Buena Vista Social Club comes alive once more in this vibrant collection of photographs, film stills and text from director Wim Wenders and his wife, Donata.

Taken during the filming of the documentary, these images are as enigmatic, sensual, and haunting as the music they celebrate. Included here are portraits of the artists themselves - including Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Ruben Gonzales - recording and perfon-ning their magical music.

Scenes of Havana street life, its gloriously decaying architecture, and its colorful denizens are accompanied by texts of their most famous songs, in both Spanish and English versions, as well as contributions from Wim and Donata Wenders and Ry Cooder.

The perfect companion for fans of the CD and the movie, this magnificently produced volume also stands alone as a visual treat for anyone with a fascination for Cuba and its incredible, enchanting music.

Text and photographs from the book
Buena Vista Social Club

click on the
images below
to view larger



Sitemap Forum Music Movies Books Art Bio