Havana Club Rumba Sessions - La Clave - a documentary film screening (rated 12A)

The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen

Sunday 3 April 2016

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Sunday 3 April 2016
17:00 - 23:00 (doors at 16:30)
Film Screenings, Live Music, Something A Little Different, Themed Nights
Over 18

The latest chapter in the longstanding relationship between Gilles Peterson, Havana Cultura and the music of Cuba, this feature-length documentary by Charlie Inman sees him explore the roots of rumba through interviews with leading figures of the rumba scene in Cuba — from Muñequitos de Matanzas and Clave and Guaguancó to Rumberos de Cuba, Osain del Monte, Timbalaye and Raíces Profundas.

Produced in collaboration with rum maker Havana Club – that created the Havana Cultura platform to promote contemporary Cuban culture –, it's another chapter in a six-year relationship that's already given vital exposure to different aspects of Cuban's thriving music culture. This film is about tracing the through lines running from slave communities' spiritual drumming practices, the dancers and musicians who've preserved those traditions, through to the younger generation who've plucked out and re-contextualised the elements most exciting to them.

The history of rumba, inextricably tied up with the slave trade, uniquely intertwines West African and Iberian musical styles. With roots in the Congo, Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon, different African religious institutions such as Ifa, Ekpe and Nkisi were remade in Cuba as Lukumi (Santeria), Palo, Abakua and Arara. As such, the religious and social realities instituted by the African diaspora have a distinct, if complex, connection to the rhythms foundational to contemporary club music.

The three main styles of rumba are guaganco, yambu and columbia. As well as forming an important part of the documentary, unpacking these differing styles has become an important part of the wider Havana Cultura project's exploration of rumba. 

The film will also be introducted by Ade Egun Crispin Robinson. Ade is a percussionist completing a PhD in Ethnomusicology focusing on Afrocuban sacred drum music. He was a founder member of the group Galliano and has played and recorded with artists as diverse as Brian Eno, Roni Size, Soul II Soul, George Duke, Coldplay, Akala, Chaka Khan, IG Culture and many, many others. He has a long relationship with Cuban Lukumi religion and has travelled to Cuba frequently since 1998. He is initiated into Ifa, Orisha and Aña, and plays regularly in sacred drum music ceremonies internationally.


Ticket sales will be donated to The Music Fund For Cuba, a UK charity which supports education and development of music and performing arts in Cuba.


  1. Doors 4.30pm
  2. Film starts 5pm (with introduction from Ade Egun Crispin Robinson)
  3. DJ and social dancing between 7pm and 10.30pm - carriages 11pm (including live music sessions)

Note if ordering a food inclusive ticket, food will be ready for the end of the film (c.7pm). 

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The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen
Mockingbird House, The Custard Factory Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA



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The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen

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