Eliades Ochoa became known the world over in the late ‘90s as an original member of the legendary, international Cuban band, the Buena Vista Social Club. However, his passion for his country’s musical heritage led him to a life dedicated to music much earlier than that.

In Eliades Ochoa: From Cuba to the World, see how the streets of Santiago de Cuba, in the eastern part of the island, became the backdrop of Ochoa’s youth and adulthood. After playing music for coins in the local brothels and joining a slew of folk groups, Ochoa finally found success with the Buena Vista Social Club.

Where to Watch

Eliades Ochoa: From Cuba to the World premieres Friday October 9, 2020 at 10:30 p.m. on CPTV.

It encores on CPTV on Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 4 p.m.

Where to Stream

The program will be available for on-demand viewing concurrent with its CPTV television premiere:

  • On this page
  • At video.cptv.org
  • On the free Connecticut Public mobile app (Visit Google Play or the Apple App Store to download the app.)

More About the Program

Filmmaker and first-time director Cynthia Biestek tells the story of the hypnotic rhythms of the Cuban music scene in Santiago de Cuba. Eliades Ochoa is her muse. Rare pictures, archive material, humorous animations, and interviews help narrate his incredible journey from the streets of Cuba to the White House.

“In 2000, I took my first trip to Cuba as part of a documentary workshop group. I discovered the most magical and infectious music I had ever heard. This was a life-changing experience for me, and I knew then, exactly the story I wanted to tell,” Biestek recollected.

Eliades Ochoa: From Cuba to the World is full of addictive, soul-moving music originating from the biggest names contributing to the advancement of the Cuban sound. Music from Guillermo Portabales, Julio Rodriguez, Compay Segundo, and, of course, Ochoa himself are featured, just to name a few. This film will leave you wanting more of the music from this very special place in the world.


Eliades Ochoa: From Cuba to the World is presented by Connecticut Public Television and distributed nationally by American Public Television (APT).

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