NAT CHEDIAK RECEIVED 2015 ARTESMIAMI LYDIA CABRERA AWARD

U.S. Century Bank and Biltmore Parc Sponsored Awards Luncheon  

1Prominent cultural leader Nat Chediak, a Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning music producer, historian, and an authority on world cinema, recently received the prestigious ArtesMiami Lydia Cabrera Award at a luncheon co-presented by U.S. Century Bank, one of the top ten Hispanic-owned community banks in the U.S. and Biltmore Parc, a luxury condominium development  in Coral Gables. The award, named in memory of Lydia Cabrera, world-renowned writer and expert in Afro-Cuban culture, honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the cultural development of South Florida. It includes a $500 cash prize and a work of art. The luncheon was be held at Fleming’s, 2525 Ponce de Leon in Coral Gables.

Dr. Aida Levitan, ArtesMiami president; Alirio Torrealba, Biltmore Parc developer; and U.S. Century Bank n Alex Acosta and CEO Carlos J. Davila presented the award to Chediak at the luncheon.  Directors and members of ArtesMiami as well as 100 local leaders attended.  Previous winners of the Lydia Cabrera Award, including Gloria Leal, Luis de la Paz, Carlos Alberto Montaner and Olga Connor, are also expected to attend.

Dr. Levitan said, “Nat Chediak is an exceptional example of what Cuban Americans have contributed to Miami’s cultural development.” She added, “Now that Miami is one of the leading cultural centers of the Americas, it is easy to forget the uphill battles fought by the pioneers between the 1970s and 1990s. Nat was definitely one of these pioneers, and ArtesMiami is proud to inform the community about his many accomplishments.”

“It is an honor for U.S. Century Bank to host such an important event and award, and to recognize Nat Chediak, who has had a positive impact on the film and music industries,” said Carlos J. Davila, President and CEO of U.S. Century Bank. “As a true community bank headquartered in South Florida, we support a number of important causes, and we appreciate how art and culture enrich our region,” he added.

Alirio Torrealba, the developer of Biltmore Parc, a European-style luxury condo building at 718 Valencia Avenue in Coral Gables, said, “We support ArtesMiami because this organization recognizes outstanding cultural leaders like Chediak and promotes exceptional cultural and lifestyle experiences, just like the ones Biltmore Parc will offer.”

2In 1973 Chediak opened his first art cinema in Coral Gables, Florida, the Cinematheque, adding two others – Arcadia and Grove Harbor – over the course of fifteen years.  It was there that the films of Wim Wenders, Bertrand Tavernier and Fernando Trueba, among others, played theatrically in America for the first time. Ten years later he founded what became the city’s leading international cultural event, the Miami Film Festival, where, under his stewardship throughout eighteen years, major filmmakers like France’s Regis Wargnier, Sweden’s Lasse Hallstrom, Canada’s Atom Egoyan and Spain’s Pedro Almodovar received their first American exposure.

At the age of 50, in the year 2000, Chediak produced his first album, El arte del sabor, and won both the Grammy and Latin Grammy in the Traditional Tropical category. Two years later, Chediak and Trueba founded Calle 54 Records. Their first release, Lágrimas Negras, has sold in excess of one million copies to date and was chosen by Ben Ratliff of The New York Times as Best Album of 2003. He is also the co-author of the lyrics to the theme song of Chico & Rita, a 2012 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film.

ABOUT NAT CHEDIAK BIOGRAPHY

Nat Chediak is a Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning music producer, historian, and an authority on World Cinema.

In 1973, Chediak opened his first art cinema in Coral Gables, Florida, the Cinematheque, adding two others – Arcadia and Grove Harbor – over the course of fifteen years.  It was there that the films of Wim Wenders, Bertrand Tavernier and Fernando Trueba, among others, played theatrically in America for the first time. Ten years later, he founded what became the city’s leading international cultural event, the Miami Film Festival, where, under his stewardship throughout eighteen years, major filmmakers like France’s Regis Wargnier, Sweden’s Lasse Hallstrom, Canada’s Atom Egoyan and Spain’s Pedro Almodovar received their first American exposure.

Prior to recording his first album as music producer, Chediak is credited with a variety of film and music projects. In 1995 he completed ¡Aquí Estamos!, a highly acclaimed documentary on the history of Cuban music. His Diccionario de Jazz Latino – the first book ever written on the subject – was published in 1998, and is into its second printing. Over the course of three years, starting in 1999, he co-hosted with Oscar-winning filmmaker Fernando Trueba Manteca: The Latin Jazz Hour, a weekly radio program broadcast by Radio Nacional de España (RNE) with an audience of half-a-million listeners worldwide. He is Associate Producer of Trueba’s Calle 54, the first film about Latin Jazz, selected by Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times as One Of The Year’s 10 Best in 2000. His diary on the making of said film was published the same year.

At the age of 50, also in the year 2000, Chediak produced his first album, El arte del sabor, and won both the Grammy and Latin Grammy in the Traditional Tropical category. Two years later, Chediak and Trueba found Calle 54 Records. Their first release, Lágrimas Negras, has sold in excess of one million copies to date and was chosen by Ben Ratliff of The New York Times as Best Album of 2003.

Over the past decade as music producer, Chediak has recorded with the world’s finest musicians, winning three Grammys and three Latin Grammys, the most recent Latin Grammy (2009) and Grammy (2010) in the Latin Jazz category for the album Juntos para siempre. He is the co-author of the lyrics to the theme song of Chico & Rita, a 2012 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film.

In October of 2014, when Chediak unexpectedly became director of programming at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, Miami Herald film critic René Rodríguez wrote: “Miami’s godfather of art cinema is returning to work.” Commenting on the proximity to the 1973 Cinematheque, where it all began for him in film exhibition, Chediak quipped: “It’s taken me over forty years to move three blocks south.”

 At home, the South Florida Entertainment Writers Association recognized Mr. Chediak’s endeavors as early as 1985 when it bestowed on him its highest honor, the Carbonell Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. That same year, French Minister of Culture Jack Lang named him Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.  More recently, he received the Gold Medal from Spain’s Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) in 1995. In September of 1999, the King of Spain appointed him Officer of the Order of Isabel La Católica.

Mr. Chediak is a founding member of the Latin Recording Academy (LARAS), and has served in its Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors.

 


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