El Open House: The Soundtrack of our Lives

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Features Gloria Estefan, Willy Chirino and Carlos Oliva on WPBT2

The Miami Sound Machine

“Music for us was a connection to this new society. Music was the first phase of our integration into American society,” says José “Pepe” Campos.

El Open House: The Soundtrack of our Lives premieres on WPBT2 on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Joe Cardona, this new documentary offers a vibrant portrait of South Florida in the 1970s and 1980s.

“El Open House is a story that brings all of our cultures together into an eclectic, unique blend. It’s a celebration of who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be,” says Joe Cardona. The one-hour program explores the social, cultural and musical forces that shaped our region and created its distinct sound.

In the 1960s, Miami became home to thousands of Cuban exiles. As families began to settle in, the first generation of Cubans raised in Miami embraced their adopted culture without forgetting their customs and traditions.

“Music for us was a connection to this new society. Music was the first phase of our integration into American society,” says José “Pepe” Campos. In El Open House we see and hear from the artists, the disc jockeys and others who helped to create the flavorful scene. Exclusive interviews with Gloria Estefan, Willy Chirino, Carlos Oliva and others reveal the excitement and the energy of those early days as their music forged Miami’s identity. “It’s like our parents took us, the seedlings, and planted us here and watered us and fed us with Cuban water and Cuban fertilizer and they kept our culture alive,” says Estefan.

The program also features artists such as Albita and Amaury Gutierrez who burst into the Miami music scene later. Pitbull fondly reminisces about growing up with a father who listened to Willy Chirino constantly.

The program is named after a unique, cultural phenomenon: the “Open House” parties of the seventies. Those who experienced those exhilarating days associate the term with friends, family and plenty of good music. Rare footage, photo albums and the fabulous sounds of the era allow us to remember who we were then. El Open House is a nostalgic journey to a youthful past; a time that added magic to the city we now call home.

Funding for El Open House is made possible by Leon Medical Centers and the Zulueta Family.

About WPBT2
South Florida’s premier public broadcaster, WPBT2, is a community-licensed, not-for-profit media enterprise serving communities from the Treasure Coast to the Florida Keys. WPBT2 provides high quality content from PBS, independent acquisitions and its own original productions. WPBT2’s digital media platform, offers: 2HD, a 24-hour high definition channel; Digital 2.2, a mix of Science & Nature Channel, The Florida Channel and Create; Digital 2.3, V-me, a 24-hour national Spanish-language network; and http://www.wpbt2.org, the WPBT2 website including, Impromp2 (a community blog), the WPBT2 Video Player and uVu, a video sharing website


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