The Buena Vista Social Club was a members club in Havana, Cuba, that closed in the 1940s, as well as a 1990's band, an album, a film and an unofficial brand name representing the musical spirit of the original Havana club. The original Buena Vista Social Club held dances and musical activities, becoming a popular location for musicians to meet and play during the 1940s. In the 1990s, nearly 50 years after the club was closed, it inspired a recording made by Cuban musician Juan de Marcos González and American guitarist Ry Cooder with traditional Cuban musicians, some of whom were veterans who had performed at the club during the height of its popularity.
The recording, named Buena Vista Social Club after the Havana institution, became an international success, and the ensemble was encouraged to perform with a full line-up in Amsterdam in April 1998 (two nights). German director Wim Wenders captured the performance on film and the one that followed on the 1st of July 1998 in Carnegie Hall, New York City for a documentary also called Buena Vista Social Club that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. Wenders' film was released on 4 June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards. The success of both the album and film sparked a revival of international interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general.