Film Review: Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums

By any measure, Omar Sosa is an unusual musician and composer. The highly-influential artist studied percussion at a prestigious conservatoire in Havana before carrying out his military service during the Angolan Civil War.  He then transplanted himself to Ecuador, where he used his talents to compose commercial jingles to earn a living. Before moving to San Francisco, via Spain and back again, to continue his musical odyssey.

Sosa has gone on to make over thirty albums, both alone and with a number of collaborators, which could (mostly) be roughly categorised under heading of jazz. However, his sound incorporates elements of afro-beat and a range of influences from a whole array of styles from around the world. He’s won four Grammys and worked with some of the most talented artists around. Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums tells the story of a uniquely talented musician.

There’s a basic requirement for every music documentary and that’s to showcase the actual music. Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums does this extremely well. Soren Sorensen’s film highlights the sheer range and quality of the sound Sosa has been responsible for over the years. Not to mention his unshakable energy and thirst for evolution. Using interviews and archive footage to build up a picture of a charismatic genius, Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums is a vibrant and fresh portrait of a veritable maestro.

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums has its UK premiere at Doc ‘n Roll on 1 November.

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