HAVANA, Sept. 24 The special commemorates Varela’s 30th anniversary as an artist and features exclusive access and backstage moments from his concerts. It also showcases interviews with Jackson Browne, Benicio del Toro, Ivan Lins, Luis Enrique, and more as they discuss Varela. Aside from these, the film will show his “emotionally-charged performances and songs,”Broadway world” reported.
Varela, 52, has released eight albums: “Jalisco Park” (1989), “Carlos Varela en vivo” (1991), “Monedas al aire” (1991), “Como los peces” (1995), “Nubes” (2000), “Siete” (2004), “Los hijos de Guillermo Tell Vol.1” (2005), and “No es el fin” (2009), Havana Cultura listed.
The documentary was filmed in Havana and reveals how the singer was influenced by politics, his country, and the people, and how he touched them in return, Broadway World reported.
“Having endured many censorship battles with the Cuban government, Varela’s music is personal, poignant, and poetic; he has even been called ‘Cuba’s Bob Dylan’ and a voice of his generation. That voice has loudly struggled for the individual freedoms of his homeland and has gone through great effort to build bridges between Cuba, the US, disenfranchised Cubans and the people of the world,” Broadway World added.
Varela’s music, which gained fame in Cuba in the 1980s, was often viewed as too controversial for Cuban radio, Havana Cultura wrote. There weren’t any offers made for the artist, until Silvia Rodriguez stepped in and brought him on a tour in Spain in 1986.
Three years later, Varela’s debut album, “Jalisco Park,” came out through a small Spanish label. “Guillermo Tell,” one of the tracks from the record, is as a message from Cuba’s young generation to the country’s leaders, the news outlet added.
The censorship of Varela’s music was still felt throughout the ’90s, but he always made it a point to acquire inspiration from Cuba.
“In Cuba, musicians and artists don’t ride in limousines, that doesn’t happen,” Varela said, as quoted by Havana Cultura. “People can always come up to you and they feel they have the right to tell you, ‘Hey, I didn’t much like such-and-such song, I didn’t like what you said.’ And you feel like you always have your feet on the ground. That really helps you grow, to be better, and to feel part of something. Your work helps you know people a bit more.”
“The Poet of Havana,” which was directed and produced by Ron Chapman, airs on Oct. 23, 2015 at 8PM ET/7PM CT on HBO Latino, Broadway World noted. Viewers can also watch the special on HBO on Demand, HBO GO, and HBO Now