Remembering the Mamoncillo /
Recordando el Mamoncillo
Directed and produced in 2007 by Pam Sporn
Spanish and English with English subtitles
Every second Sunday of July from the 1960s through the early 2000s, hundreds of Cubans and lovers of Cuban music assembled at the Bohemian Beer Garden in Queens for the Recordando el Mamoncillo festival. Recordando el Mamoncillo (Remembering the Mamoncillo) gives viewers a taste of that joyous event.
The festival was hosted by el Club Cubano Interamericano and modeled after an annual dance that many of the club’s members had attended in Cuba. “El Mamoncillo” was not just a dance, but also an event that maintained Cuban culture, particularly Afro-Cuban culture, and provided a way for Cuban families and friends to reunite every year.
The history and cultural importance of the Recordando el Mamoncillo festival and El Club Cubano is brought to life by dance scenes, testimonies of long-time members of the club and musical performances by Chico Alvarez y su Palo Monte, Son Sublime, the Charanga All-Stars, and Orquesta Broadway.
About El Club Cubano Inter-Americano
El Club Cubano Inter-Americano, an Afro-Cuban social club was formed in New York City in 1945. Inspired by Antonio Maceo, the Black Cuban hero of the Cuban wars of independence, El Club Cubano was founded with the objective of creating a cultural space that would welcome Cubans and other Latin Americans regardless of “race, sex, and political or religious creed.” In its heyday the club held banquets in honor of boxer Kid Gavilán, singers Beny Moré and Celia Cruz. Happily, the legacy of the club is being carried on by The Children of El Club Cubano Inter-Americano, who revived El Festival del Mamoncillo in its original location in 2012.