From the Southern Cone to the Caribbean, we’ve caught some serious music in the first year of The Crossroads. Here are a some of highlights…
The Crossroads series is about catching the essence of a country at a critical moment. A lot of it is talking to policy makers, but the best of it is talking to people. Sometimes they sing. And sometimes they sing very well.
It started with The Crossroads Argentina, with a little taxi-cab tango. This guy sang full-throtle for about ten minutes. He said it was easy to conjure and maintain the emotion – since his wife passed away his heart has been perpetually broken.
The tango-singing taxi driver did make it into The Crossroads Argentina, appearing at the beginning of the second chapter.
Next it was on to Cuba where I spent time with a young woman with a tremendous voice named Africa. I had 30 minutes to get to the airport and about five minutes of battery left on my camera when she finally agreed to sing on camera. I’m still disappointed this didn’t make it into the final episode.
To my knowledge, she has not seen this video. I know she has very limited access to internet.
Most recently, for The Crossroads Colombia I was working with a local producer / cameraman and we were moving around La Candelaria in downtown Bogota when he stopped to speak to a friend. The producer mentioned in passing that his friend rapped, and without much more I asked if we could get it on camera. At that point I had no idea he is a rising star in the Colombian scene.
When Rastro heard what my project was about he suggested that he perform a song about civil conflict and brutality at the Center of Memory, Peace and Reconciliation in Bogota which honors victims of the conflict. This is what we did. I later interviewed him in El Egypto the day I was leaving the country.
I learned my lesson from the Cuba / Africa situation, and I made sure this performance made it into the episode, ultimately appearing early in chapter 3.