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And All That Jazz

Documentary spotlights music legend only weeks after his death.

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During tonight's screening of Cachao: Una Más, you'll be able to soak up the Afro-Cuban jazz that Israel "Cachao" López made famous before his death in March, shortly after the film was wrapped. The Dikayl Rimmasch-directed doc captures the Grammy Award winner and his all-star band in San Francisco as well as interviews with López, his family, and the Latin-music experts who critiqued him. "He was known all over the world as a co-creator of the mambo," says Tony Vasquez, who hosts the Latin Perspective program on 91.1-FM WRUW. "He was a true pioneer."López is also remembered as a dominant influence in contemporary salsa, for which he remained a relevant force well into his 80s. Along with his brother, he experimented with Latin grooves after they fled their native Cuba to a safer space in Miami during the '40s. Even as a working musician in southern Florida, López's street cred caught the attention of New York's jazz circles, a fact documented in the 68-minute flick. "The film allows you to trace the musical journey, from his start to worldwide fame and recognition. Even if people don't like the music, or if they're just a casual listener of cultural diversity, he has to be appreciated for the love of music," says Vasquez. "If James Brown is the godfather of soul and funk, Cachao is the godfather of Afro-Cuban." The movie starts at 7 tonight at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard in University Circle. Tickets are $4 to $8. Call 216-421-7350 or visit www.cma.org.
Fri., July 11, 7 p.m., 2008

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