Film Launch! Dafnis Prieto 'Regresar: Back in Cuba'

In January 2019, drummer, composer, and educator Dafnis Prieto returned to his native Cuba to perform his music on the island for the first time in 20 years.

Emmy-nominated filmmaker Saleem Reshamwala (KidEthnic) joined to document this historic and emotional moment for the short film, Regresar: Back in Cuba.


A Film by Saleem Reshamwala / KidEthnic

Executive Producer: Lindsay Evans

Assistant Producers: Joe Morra, Kyung Yoon

Music by Dafnis Prieto (Dafnison Music/BMI)
from the 2018 GRAMMY-winning Dafnis Prieto Big Band album 'Back to the Sunset': 'The Triumphant Journey', 'Una Vez Más'

from the 2015 Dafnis Prieto Sextet album 'Triangles and Circles': 'Back and Forth', 'Triangles and Circles'


From January 11-18, 2019, GRAMMY-winning Cuban-born drummer, composer, and educator Dafnis Prieto made an historic and emotional return to his native Cuba to perform his own music on the island for the first time since settling in the United States 20 years ago in 1999. Prieto made two headlining performances at the International Jazz Plaza Festival in Havana, one with his Sextet on Thursday, January 17 at Fábrica de Arte Cubano and one with his Big Band on Tuesday, January 15, featuring his Sextet complemented by 11 Cuban musicians from the island, playing his compositions from his 2018 GRAMMY-winning album, Back to the Sunset, at Teatro Mella.

Born in Santa Clara, Cuba and completing his education at the National School of Art (La ENA) in Havana, Prieto partnered with the New York-based non-profit organization Horns to Havana (dedicated to instrument donation and repair, as well as cultural exchanges in Cuba and the United States) to offer a Jazz Amistad (Jazz Friendship) program, in which he and the Sextet taught students at two music conservatories in Havana — Amadeo Roldán and his alma mater, La ENA.

To support this effort, Prieto received a prestigious grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's USArtists International program, the only national initiative in the United States devoted to supporting performances by American artists at important international cultural festivals. USArtists International is made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Filmed January 11-18, 2019 in Havana, Cuba

Camera Operators: Saleem Reshamwala, José Antonio González

Live Sound Engineers: Delio Ferrero Moreria, Iván Ferrero Loforte



Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza Cuba

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Dafnis Prieto Big Band at Teatro Mella

Román Filiú
, Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Pablo Cruz, Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute, Piccolo
Peter Apfelbaum, Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Melodica
Cesar Filiú, Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax
Yuniet Lombida, Bari Sax

Ariel Guillot, Trombone
Juan Carlos Marin, Trombone
Hansel Woo, Trombone
Eduardo Sandoval, Bass Trombone

Mike Rodríguez, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Thommy Lowry, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Alejandro Delgado, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mayquel Gonzalez, Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Osmany Paredes, Piano
Johannes Weidenmueller, Acoustic & Electric Bass
Yaroldy Abreu, Congas, Bongos, Percussion
Dafnis Prieto, Drums & Music Director


Thursday, January 17, 2019
Dafnis Prieto Sextet at Fábrica de Arte Cubano

Román Filiú
, Alto Sax
Mike Rodríguez, Trumpet
Peter Apfelbaum, Tenor Sax
Osmany Paredes, Piano
Johannes Weidenmueller, Bass
Dafnis Prieto, Drums & Music Director


Tour Produced by Eric Oberstein


Special thanks to 

Centro Nacional de Música Popular, Instituto Cubano de la Música:
Brenda Besada Rodríguez

Horns to Havana:
Susan Sillins
Jana La Sorte
Alison Kibbe
Lily Lombera

Conservatorio Amadeo Roldán:
Enrique Rodríguez

Escuela Nacional de Arte (La ENA)


Special thanks to

Michael Cherashore
Roberto Concepción
Lindsay Evans & Joe Morone
Juan Carlos Formell
Jenny Fornoff
David Garten
Neris González Bello
Lisa Gussack
John Hahn
Aleida Llanes-Oberstein & Alan Oberstein
Elyse & Steve Montiel
Joe Morra
Harsha Murthy
Mana, Raheem & Javid Reshamwala
Ivet Ros Pérez
Suzanne Schechter
Scott Southard
Oliver Valdés
Karin & Luke Weidenmueller
Kyung Yoon


This project was supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Dafnis Prieto Big Band is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.