EXCLUSIVE: Concord’s Film & TV unit has teamed with Pose and Vikings executive producer Sherry Marsh of Marsh Entertainment as well as Jane the Virgin executive producer Jorge Granier of Aquarius Pictures and Sergio Pizzolante (Nicky Jam: El Ganador) to develop a scripted film and/or television project about the history of Fania Records, the label that popularized salsa music. Concord’s Sophia Dilley and Fania’s Bruce McIntosh will co-developing the project and serving as executive producers.
Founded by Johnny Pacheco and Jerry Masucci, New York-based Fania Records is considered by many to be “the Motown of Latin Music.” It flourished from the late 1960s to the mid-’80s, becoming highly influential both musically and culturally. The label spread the sound of salsa music from the clubs of New York City to the rest of the world and became a revered global brand in the process.
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Fania created its own unique sound: the apex of tropical music, combined with the swing of big band jazz and the gritty vibe of American R&B. The label provided an artistic haven for a young generation of groundbreaking musicians including Ray Barretto, Rubén Blades, Willie Colón, Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, La Lupe, and Eddie Palmieri — taking Latin music and transforming it into a global movement.
Concord acquired the label last year, making Fania a part of its Craft Latino catalog.
“I’m ecstatic to see this deal take place as an important step in bringing the powerful story of Fania Records and its artists to the world,” said Bruce McIntosh, VP of Craft Latino. “The Fania story is a trifecta of creativity, commerce and the perseverance of Latinos in the US.”
Said Marsh, “I love this project and am so excited to be working with Sophia and her colleagues at Concord, along with Jorge and Sergio. Our Fania project allows me to continue my commitment to develop stories that are inclusive and diverse, embracing the richness of different cultures. Music has always been important to me. It speaks to all people. It can be healing and an expression of humanity. It’s something that touches us all.”
Indie music outlet Concord’s TV slate includes teaming with Skydance Television on a series based on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, to be directed by John Lee Hancock and co-written by Bekah Brunstetter. It recently produced Billie, a documentary about revered singer Billie Holiday that premiered at Telluride last month.
“We are so excited to be working with Sherry, Jorge, and Sergio to bring the Fania story to life,” said Sophia Dilley, Concord’s VP Film & Television Development and Production. “The Fania catalogue is rich with powerful stories that encompass a global movement in Latin music. It is an honor to dive into this history and build upon the legacy for the next generation to enjoy.”
Marsh also is executive producing Amazon’s upcoming drama series The Banker’s Wife.