A group of musicians, led by pianist Harold López-Nussa, pay tribute to filmmaker, the late Juan Padrón (1947-2020), with a new version of the iconic tune ‘Balada para Elpidio Valdés’, based on the original composed by singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez for Padron’s popular animated character Elpidio Valdés and his legendary adventures, which are part of the history of television and cinema on the island.
‘A Juan Padrón, de nosotros los niños,’ (To Juan Padron, from us, the children) is the title of this audiovisual, a home video recorded by the participating musicians from Havana, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Madrid, Bucharest and Miami, available on social media since this past Monday, as tribute to one of the most loved filmmakers by Cubans.
The participating artists include singer-songwriter Kelvis Ochoa, drummer Ruy Adrián López-Nussa, trompet player Harvis Cuni, bass guitarist Yasser Morejón, percussionist Otto Santana and Robertico Gómez in the electric guitar. Likewise, artists Aldo López-Gavilán, Mayquel González and Ruy López-Nussa, also participate in the project, singing the chorus of the song.
The video is part of the Home Sessions, a series of recordings by acclaimed jazz pianist Harold López-Nussa, offering his art from home in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In previous such sessions, Harold López-Nussa was accompanied by other Cuban musicians, among them drummers Oliver Valdés and Rodney Barreto, violinist William Roblejo, and his uncle, Ernán López-Nussa --also a pianist.
Juan Padrón died of respiratory distress in Havana on March 24th last at the age of 73. He created Elpidio Valdes, the iconic cartoon character (and series), with more than sixty shorts and two feature-length films.
Padrón directed other films well-remembered by Cubans such as Vampires in Havana!, More Vampires in Havana, and Quinoscopio.