“If We Are Related We Shall Meet” is a film about spiritual family ties. In it, Henry Cole & Villa Locura, a band deeply grounded in the African-descended rhythms of Puerto Rico, visits Havana, Cuba for the first time to give three performances at the Havana World Music Festival, the renowned cultural hotspot Fábrica del Arte Cubano, and finally an informal street performance in the Callejón de Hamel, Havana’s landmark gathering place for rumberos. While in Havana, Villa Locura also presented a Master Class at the city’s famed Instituto Superior de Arte.
“If We Are Related We Shall Meet” is also the title of a composition written by Henry Cole that will be included in “Simple”, the upcoming album by Henry Cole & Villa Locura. The Mayagüez, Puerto Rico-born Cole, whose great-grandfather Enrique Simon Danguillecourt was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1865, wrote the song with Cuba in mind and hoped to be able to play it there some day.
That day came in March of 2018.
Henry Cole: “This documentary explores the Love, Respect and Admiration that has always existed between Cuba and Puerto Rico. It is about how much we have in common and how happy it makes us when we share of ourselves together. Going to Cuba was going to see family.” The film and song title are inspired by a passage written by the transcendentalist poet, philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson: “If we are related, we shall meet. It was a tradition of the ancient world, that no metamorphosis could hide a god from a god; and there is a Greek verse which runs, ‘The Gods are to each other not unknown.’ Friends also follow the laws of divine necessity; they gravitate to each other, and cannot otherwise.”
“If We Are Related We Shall Meet” is scheduled for release in 2018.