Bakosó: AfroBeats of Cuba is a groundbreaking documentary that weaves the story of Cuban DJ and producer Isnay Rodriguez, also known as DJ Jigue, and the creation of an entirely new genre. Stunning visuals and a vibrant score pull the audience into a story of this dynamic musical fusion.
With the emergence of AfroBeats in popular culture, many U.S.-based artists have borrowed rhythms, dance moves and lyrics to reach wider audiences without acknowledging their origins. Bakosó counters this approach. It is an ode to the African continent—proudly paying homage to ancestral ties, spiritual connections, and of course, music.
For generations, the people of Cuba have relied on Afro-Cuban drum rhythms and dance rituals as an expression of religion, culture and community. This strong link continues today in the form of a collaborative exchange, resulting in the creation of a contemporary genre led by the youth and deep-rooted in practices of those who came before.
The film follows the journey of DJ Jigue, the founder of the first independent Afro-Cuban music label on the island, to his hometown of Santiago which is considered Cuba’s cultural capital and the center of African diasporic movements. As he encounters challenges along the way, audiences are transported to Cuba, learning about the complex and beautiful elements and witnessing the birth of a new genre—Bakosó.
The film was made by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, an award-winning filmmaker and founder of FistUpTV, a production company that documents people’s stories from around the world as a way to expand community awareness about issues of social responsibility and cultural identity.
Join audiences for the film’s first-ever nationwide premiere on PBS on Monday, May 3. This film will leave you inspired and have you singing and dancing to the beats of Bakosó!