By Zack Bennett
Lander University is excited to welcome the Buena Vista Legacy Band to campus on Sept. 22. The band will play a free concert in the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium at 8 p.m., as well as host a clinic in the auditorium earlier in the afternoon at 3 p.m. Both the concert and clinic are free and open to the public.
The Buena Vista Legacy Band is a tribute to the iconic Cuban band, the Buena Vista Social Club. The band was immortalized in Wim Wenders’s documentary “Buena Vista Social Club,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2000, as well as winning best documentary in the European Film Awards, among other various awards.
“These are among the most talented musicians to appear on our stage in my 20-year tenure at Lander,” said Dr. Robert Gardiner, professor of music.
The Legacy Band originated in Charleston at the Charleston Music Hall, spearheaded by Charleston Music Hall Director Charles Carmody and Gino Castillo, band leader of the Cuban Cowboys. Their idea revolved around incorporating several young, Cuban musicians who are recognized as new legends on the island. Having performed with some of the original Buena Vista Social Club members, these musicians also featured in Wenders’s second film, “The Sons of Cuba.”
The Legacy Band features Cubans Yusa (tres and vocals) and Calixto Oviedo (drums). Abdiel Iriarte (pianist) hails from Venezuela, and Castillo (band leader, vocals, percussion) is from Ecuador. The band is an itinerate project, and for that reason, the band invites different talented artists to perform during each tour. Together, the band aims to serve as an instrument carrying the old Cuban music to a new generation.
“I can’t wait to hear them live. I suspect the audience will be dancing in their seats,” said Gardiner.