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Smithsonian Screens Latin Jazz Flicks

What’s that? You still haven’t seen Calle 54, Fernando Trueba’s relatively recent documentary on Latin Jazz? That’s understandable; the film never enjoyed a wide release and has only been show in art houses and other in-the-know cinemas. But if you’ll be in the Washington, D.C. area in early November, it’ll be your chance to catch the flick, as it’s part of the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program’s El Ritmo Latino festival of Latin jazz films.The festival, which begins Oct. 23 with a screening of Ivan Acosta’s Como Se Forma Una Rumba (How to Create a Rumba), is a series of four, Wednesday night showings of films that feature Latin jazz’s most famous and accomplished artists like Tito Puente, Gato Babieri, Eliane Elias and Paquito D’Rivera. Each screenig will be introduced by notable Latin jazz historians, musicians, and film producers who will also answer audience questions when the reels run out of film and the house lights come back on. It’s being run in conjuction with Latin Jazz: La Combinacion Perfecta at the A&I Building, a Smithsonian exhibition on the history of how the Afro-Cuban sound invaded the jazz and became one its many popular sub genres. All films will be shown at 7 p.m. at Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Oct. 23: Como Se Forma Una Rumba(How to Create a Rumba) (2001, 73 min., d. Ivan Acosta)Oct. 30: Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy (1987, 58 min., d. Carlos Ortiz) Nov. 6: Calle 54 (2000, 105 min., d. Fernando Trueba)Nov. 13: Cachao: Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos (Cachao: His Rhythm is Like No Other) (1993, 112 min., d. Andy Garcia)

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