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Cuban Composer Carlos José Alvarez Scores Documentary Cubamerican


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2013-02-23 06:33:00 - Film Premieres Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA
& Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Miami International Film Festival in Miami, FL


Carlos José Alvarez scores Cubamerican, a feature documentary by director José Enrique Pardo, a stirring story of how the Cuban Revolution shattered the Cuban family. The film deals with the agony of displacement, offers rumination on the future of Cuba, and highlights the absolute need for all of the world’s people to be able to freely exercise their fundamental human rights. The documentary premieres at 7:00 PM on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA. The premiere is at the California Theater at 345 South First Street, San Jose, California 95113. Ticketing information can be found at www.cinequest.org/tickets-passes. The documentary will also premiere at the Miami International Film Festival on Tuesday, March 5,

2013 at the Regal South Beach Cinema located at 1100 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139 at 7:00PM. Ticketing information can be found at www.miamifilmfestival.com/program/gettickets.aspx.

The son of Cuban immigrants, Carlos José Alvarez blends traditional Cuban ensembles and rhythms with a modern orchestral sound into the Cubamerican score. His compositions swiftly transform full orchestration into powerful and driving rhythms, transporting the listener through sixty years of Cuba’s history. A talented percussionist, Alvarez’s drumming serves as the film’s heartbeat deeply rooted in the island’s folklore. His commitment to producing a contemporary sound using first-class Cuban musicians results in a unique and virtuosic soundtrack with an unmistakable Cuban identity. Alvarez has carefully crafted a melodic score that highlights themes of loss, struggle and triumph with fragile beauty and soulful passion. Alvarez says, “I’ve dreamed of the opportunity to compose music that would celebrate my Cuban heritage and serve as a tribute to the sacrifices made by my parents and grandparents’ generation. More than ever, I understand the immense loss that they experienced leaving Cuba and the separation from family that they were forced to endure. I awake each day free to express myself through my music because of their sacrifice and I felt a deep responsibility to honor that.”

Alvarez’s 85 year old grandmother, whose lifelong dream has been to record her own music, has graced the film’s end credits with her song Un Canto A Mi Cuba: a lament to her homeland she wrote decades ago. Alvarez reminisces, “Going into the studio with her was one of the great moments of my life. I didn’t fully realize the importance behind what I was doing until she started singing into that microphone. She left me speechless. She was born for this and it almost didn’t happen.”

In a short time, the versatile young composer has contributed his talents to notable films such as One for the Money, Deadline, Discover The Gift and 9. Additionally, Carlos José Alvarez has composed the music for numerous national and international commercials (BMW, Acura, Best Buy, Kia, Home Depot, and Expedia). A native of South Florida, Alvarez began his formal musical training at an early age, attending a music conservatory from grade school through high school, during which he performed with several professional orchestras. While at Florida State University, Alvarez scored several award-winning student films, garnering him a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music where he earned a degree in film scoring. Upon graduation, he accepted a conducting fellowship with maestro Michalis Economou and the Athens Symphony Orchestra in Greece. Alvarez currently resides in Los Angeles. He most recently scored the indie film Inventing Adam which premiered this past month. His upcoming films include Sony’s Payday: The Heist and Una Vida: A Fable of Music and The Mind, starring Joaquim De Almeida and Emmy-Award Winner Mary Alice.
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