Benicio del Toro Source

Thirty years is a long time in the music industry. But for Cuban icon Carlos Varela — a key influencer of Cuba’s people, politics and culture — 30 years represents his journey of musical, spiritual and life experiences. He’s now ready to share memories that belonged to his past with fans, family and friends through a documentary called The Poet of Havana, narrated by good friend Benicio del Toro.

“When the crew filmed Benicio in Los Angeles, they noticed that he knew a lot about my career, and the producers decided to have him narrate my story. It is a blessing!” said Varela, who in December will release a new album that includes his greatest hits performed by his colleagues.

Directed and produced by Canadian Ron Chapman, Poet of Havana — which is airing on HBO Latino and is also available On Demand — recalls memories of the early days of the revolution and how Varela discovered his voice, secretly listening to American radio by candlelight and dodging government-controlled raids. The footage also includes a series of interviews with American folk-rock legend Jackson Browne, salsa singer Luis Enrique and Brazilian musician Ivan Lins, among others. (x)



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