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The Dominican Film Showcase in Washington DC Pays Homage to Musician Johnny Pacheco with “Yo Soy la Salsa”

Saturday November 21st, 2015

The second day of the GFDD’s Dominican Film Showcase came with an abundance of rhythm provided by Latin music legend Johnny Pacheco. The documentary “Yo Soy la Salsa,” directed by Manuel Villalona and produced by Andrés Van der Horst, is an homage to the maestro of Salsa, as told through his own testimonies as well as his friends and colleagues, including Rubén Blades, Ismael Miranda, Isidro Infante, Eddie Montalvo, Marc Anthony, Oscar de León and Milly Quezada.

The Art Museum of the Americas was once again the venue for an intimate evening that enabled the audience to learn details – up to now almost totally unknown – about the life of this musical idol born in the Dominican city of Santiago de los Caballeros. The public also enjoyed the voices and music of the best of the best Salsa musicians, who, 50 years ago, led by Pacheco from New York, launched this genre to the top of the charts.

In addition to being executive producer, Andrés Van der Horst created the original idea for the film. Mr. Van der Horst, for work reasons apologized for being unable to attend the Film Showcase. However, he sent a message that was read after the film screening by GFDD staff member, María Victoria Abreu: “This effort is a legacy of Dominican identity and culture expressed by a Dominican who emigrated then raised the Dominican flag abroad. The true mark of our country is Dominican talent, that which Pacheco took with him to New York over 50 years ago to show how to make the Salsa a global movement, which it continues to be today.”

Angie Martínez, Director of Academic Affairs at the Dominican Embassy in the United States, said after the film screening: “I loved the film. I was excited and enthusiastic to see it when it first premiered. Once they announced it would be shown at the Dominican Film Showcase, it was on the top of my list. It is a very fitting tribute to a great Dominican, to a musical God as Marc Anthony says in the film.”

Regarding the GFDD Dominican Film Showcase, Ms. Martínez stressed that this type of initiative “deserves total support. This activity is becoming a tradition among the Dominican community and film lovers in Washington DC. It is an excellent way to show our culture through our films.”

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