Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo - who specialized in conga performances - certainly claimed one of the most unusual personal histories of any contemporary musician. The descendant of West African slaves dragged against their will to 18th Century Cuba, Pozo grew up learning a plethora of pagan religions including Yoruba and Lucumí, preserved in part through the clandestine Abakua brotherhood. Musically, Pozo gravitated to drumming somewhat early in life, and made history as one of the first to turn Afro-Cuban rhythms into successful pop hits, such as "Tin Tin Deo," "Cubana Be, Cubana Bop" and "Manteca." Pozo died bizarrely and arbitrarily in early December 1948 when killed at the age of 33 at a Harlem watering hole, amid a nasty barfight. This documentary marks one of the first to etch out a biographical portrait of Pozo's life, death and music. It features interviews with the musician's family members, friends and colleagues (including a period interview with Dizzy Gillespie) and a concert in which a plethora of contemporary Cuban musicians pay homage to Pozo.
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