USA | 2023 | 72 min. | Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

From SIFF mainstays Rob Ebstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl) comes this jubilant profile on Horns for Havana, a U.S. organization trying to keep Cuba’s jazz tradition alive by repairing and providing instruments for the students of the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory of Music.

Are you an aficionado of all things music? Attend the May 10 screening for jazz trivia from our community partner, Seattle JazzED!


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Monday, May 20 - Monday, May 27, 2024

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  • Matinee

From the award-winning documentary duo Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman comes Musica!, a joyous slice-of-life documentary detailing the lives of students at the prestigious Amadeo Roldán Conservatory of Music. Our gateway in follows Horns for Havana, a non-profit arts organization who’ve been making yearly excursions to Cuba for over a decade to help the students of prestigious Amadeo Roldán with instruments and music supplies. The stories of four students unfold as decades worth of sociopolitical instability has affected their education. (Due to the embargo, Cuba doesn’t have sandpaper, much less repair supplies, for intricate jazz instruments.) Though light on the political theatre, Musica! more than makes up for it by showing the soul of jazz music and how it inspires new generations, regardless of language or social barrier. It culminates in students making the pilgrimage to New Orleans, birthplace of jazz, which only solidifies the unshakeable link the Big Easy has with the island nation. Any chance to see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band All-Stars do their thing is a must-see. A sobering coda reminds us of the continued struggle for artists in the face of global instability (*cough* pandemic *cough*), but also the unbreakable spirit of jazz and the enduring resolve of Cuban people.

—Andrew Shanks

  • Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 72 min.
  • Producer: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Machu Latorre
  • Cinematographers: Roberto Chile, Buddy Squires
  • Editors: Susan Fanshel
  • Music: Isaiah Gage
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Epstein: Howl (2010), The Celluloid Closet (1995), Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989), The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), World Is Out (1977) Friedman: Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019), Howl (2010), The Celluloid Closet (1995), Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989)
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • US Distributor: Film Collaborative
  • International Sales: WME