Bakosó: It’s a genre that may be unfamiliar by name, but is likely recognizable by its sound. It has been sampled in songs by artists like Marc Anthony and Janet Jackson. But the recognition and origin story of this Cuban-born genre has largely gone untold. That is, until now.
A new documentary called Bakosó: AfroBeats of Cuba tells the story behind the genre. It was born in the mid-2000s, with the influence of medical students from African countries who were part of an educational exchange program with Cuba. They brought over Afrobeat and other styles, which was fused with sounds coming from Cuban artists to become Bakosó. The short film follows DJ Jigüe, who created Cuba’s first independent Afro-Cuban music label, as he returns to his hometown of Santiago to explore the genre.
"Bakoso: AfroBeats of Cuba" is currently touring select cities in the United States after premiering at LA Pan African Film Festival in February, where it received the Audience Award for short documentary. A film screening followed by a Q&A with director Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, producer Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi and DJ Jigüe will be held at Guild Theater at 6 PM in Oak Park.
The screening is a homecoming for the the Fantauzzi brothers, who were raised in Sacramento and graduated from Christian Brothers High School. Co-sponsoring the evening is Sol Collective, where Eli has taught youth storytelling and photography workshops. They join Insight to preview the film and discuss their hometown roots.
Watch the trailer and hear the film's title track: