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Buena Vista Social Club's New Live Album
Published July 10, 2008

By Joanna Padovano

Documenting the group's legendary 1998 performance in New York, Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall will be released this fall.

After the release of their debut album in 1997, the Buena Vista Social Club played a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. This Seventh Avenue show provided the foundation for the upcoming live album Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall.


German film director Ernst Wilhelm ("Wim") Wenders had filmed this performance for a documentary he was making that came out the following year. The film not only won for Best Documentary at the European Film Awards, but it was also nominated for an Academy Award under the same category. The album itself won a Grammy award the year it was released.


The 1998 show featured Cuban guitarist Eliades Ochoa, Afro-Cuban singer and musician Ibrahim Ferrer and Cuban musician and songwriter Compay Segundo. The live album by World Circuit/Nonesuch will be released as a double CD, but not until sometime in the fall. Segundo passed away in 2003, and Ferrer in 2005—thankfully though, fans are now able to purchase the song “Chan Chan” by Segundo on iTunes for the first time since the film was released.


The Buena Vista Social Club was originally a members club located in Havana, Cuba. It was an extremely popular hangout during the 1940s that held dances and featured live music. Roughly five decades after the club was shut down, musicians Juan de Marcos González and Ry Cooder decided to record an album along with other traditional Cuban musicians, some of whom had even played in the actual Buena Vista Social Club back in the day.