I'm pleased to announce that the documentary feature film that I shot and co-directed (with Marsha Baxter) For the Love the Mambo will be screening as part of the Cinema 10 program at the Roxy Theater in Potsdam on September 26.
The film is dear to me. It celebrates the birth, life, and re-birth of a music known to many as the mambo. Shot in Potsdam, New York City, and Puerto Rico, the film gives voice to the many creators of this genre.
I began my career shooting music, through my high school media class in the 80's. We would pack up three video cameras, tripods, and all the necessary gear and head down to the Graystone punk club in Detroit, taping performances by Big Black, The Butthole Surfers, Die Kruezen, and many others. What kind of high school teacher does this to his students? The best kind, a guy named Russ Gibb.
In 2012 I found myself on stage again, this time in Puerto Rico, with legendary baritone saxophone player Pete Miranda of the Mambo Legends Orchestra. He took the first solo in the first tune played at a show. It was an out of body experience for me. To be standing inches from his horn while shooting the performance, hearing the rich texture and tone, surely improvised, was too much. Seeing it now I still get goose bumps. Performances like this are peppered throughout the film as we learn more about the how's and why's of this cherished musical form. These are the former members of Tito Puente's band and they are still going strong, touring the world and bringing the mambo with them.
If you're a resident of our North Country I hope you'll find yourself down at the Roxy on September 26th to watch this film, stay for the Q and A with Marsha and me, and then possibly catch the Crane Latin Ensemble after the film, performing live at Maxfield's.
The film has also screened at festivals in Mumbai, New Mexico, and at the 2015 St. Lawrence International Film Festival.