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Documentaries, movies and videos

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Puerto Rican music and musicians

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Filmmaker Pedro Rivera (left) with famed cuatro player Pedrito Guzmán and members of the Puerto Rican Cuatro Project in 1996 for the filming of the documentary, Nuestro Cuatro

Puerto Rican talent is amply represented in the cinema and in the creation of documentaries. Even before sound cinema,  documentaries were produced in Puerto Rico that were presented along fictional silent films in theatre in what was known as film 'reviews'. Local artists and filmakers from outside the country were pioneers in getting used to audiences in theaters established across the entire country, enjoying interesting documentaries made in Puerto Rico by Puerto Rican hands.

      At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, workshops or work studios were established where documentaries were created that, in most cases, for various reasons, have disappeared from sight. It is known of the fire that occurred in the studio in San Juan of Antonio Colorado, a prominent photographer and filmmaker who prepared the documentary of the wake and burial of the grerat Puerto Rican statesman, Luis Muñoz Rivera. Juan Vigué was one of the main creators of moving images that Ponce and San Juan had. Actors and actresses like Cecilia Callejo, in the past; Marta Romero, Roberto Rivera Negron, Adalberto Rodriguez (Machuchal), Braulio  Castillo, Juano Hernández, José Ferrer, Cordelia González, Raúl Julia, Benicio del Toro, Lin Manuel Miranda, constitute a very simple sample of the number of artists who participated in directing, acting or producing superb works of film art.

    The strain of young people who continue to sow and reap successful works of moving images is significant, but in many instances, they are forced to seek support abroad, in the absence of local help.


The Centro-Casa Paoli has edited five documentaries: Antonio Paoli, the Tenor of Kings and the King of Tenors (1992); The mural paintings by Rafael Ríos Rey (2007); The Routes of the Murals (2009), The Ponce Carnival Masks according to Miguel Caraballo García (2011)  and The Sweet Song of the Puerto Rican Tiple (2020)


This space aims to help spread this outstanding form of Puerto Rican creativity.  Collaborations received will be evaluated by a special committee designated for this purpose. No unsolicited correspondence will be maintained on the writings unless the members of the Committee agree to publish it with the corresponding recommendations.

This space is expected to contribute to advance the life and work of singers, instrumentalists, composers, choir directors, set designers and scholars of classical music in Puerto Rico. Most of our artists linked to classical music are barely known in our country. What is not known cannot be appreciated or loved. Our culture must be preserved.

    Antonio and Amalia Paoli established a music academy, the Paoli Conservatory, in the 1920s. However, before the Paoli's, in every municipality of Puerto Rico, there were hundreds of excellent music teachers who created their own schools— mostly in their own homes. We want to talk about all of these pioneers.  

    Currently, these good Samaritans of musical art still stand out in some towns in the country. The Center in Casa Paoli has published several books on various aspects of the musical history of Puerto Rico, among them, Elegy to the Guitar (2014); The pianists Amalia Paoli and Angelica Morales (2015); Fernando Callejo y Ferrer: Essay on Music (2015), all three by Néstor Murray-Irizarry, and an important treatise about a pianist and composer of the Belle Epoque based in Paris, Francisco (Paco) Pedro Cortés González (2007) by Guillermo Menéndez Maisonet.

    All collaboration received on these issues will be evaluated by a special committee designated for these purposes. No correspondence will be maintained on the writings, unsolicited, unless the members of the Committee agree to publish it with the corresponding recommendations.

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