“A Tuba to Cuba,” directors T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch's documentary about a Preservation Hall Jazz Band trip to Cuba in 2015, has been on its own festival tour. It premiered at South by Southwest in March 2018, served as the closing night movie at the New Orleans Film Festival in October and recently screened in a new Sundance Film Festival showcase for movies about music as a tool for social change. The film now is on a limited theatrical run and opens at The Broad Theater Friday, Feb. 22.
The Preservation Hall tour of Cuba inspired the Latin rhythms on its 2017 album “So It Is.” The film includes some scenes from performances in Cuba, but much of it is focused on individual band members' meetings and collaborations with Cuban musicians, many of those arranged for cameras by Herrington. The focus of the film becomes a trip to Santiago de Cuba, which bears cultural and musical similarities to New Orleans. There's also a second line-like street parade with a Cuban drumming and marching group. The narrative is paced by vibrant street scenes in Havana and elsewhere, views of the Cuban countryside and reflective moments by band members.
“Tuba to Cuba” introduces members of the band and shares some of their background. It delves into Allan Jaffe's role in founding Preservation Hall, and his son, current Preservation Hall Artistic Director Ben Jaffe, reflects on his father's work. The film spends limited time on the generations of older jazz musicians who carried on the musical tradition that they brought to Preservation Hall, but it includes excellent archival footage provided by Preservation Hall.
Opens Friday, Feb. 22 at The Broad Theater, 636 N. Broad St., (504) 218-1008; www.thebroadtheater.com.