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The orchestra

Havana, Cuba. – Obviously, we should define, in a simple way, what an orchestra is. It is a group of musicians that play different musical instruments, gathered to play certain pieces. Each of its sections has a specific place in the band, depending on the instrument. El maestro Frank Fernández en una de sus tantas actuaciones con la Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. Foto: Roberto Ruiz Of course,... 
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Juan Napoles Fajardo, El Cucalambe

Havana, Cuba. – Juan Cristobal Napoles-Fajardo, known as El Cucalambe, was a poetry writer and improviser. He was admittedly the most prominent figure of Cuban 10-line stanza in the XIX century. He was the highest exponent of Siboney art and literary nationalism. Juan Cristóbal Nápoles y Fajardo, nombrado el Cucalambé. Foto tomada de Internet The Cuban bard was born in the current province... 

Musical Notes

Havana, Cuba. – Talking about musical notes to experts in that art may seem certainly pointless to them. However, the opposite happens when we deal with Cuban music lovers that enjoy it intensely, even though they are not experts. In fact, I intend to address those, if they allow me. Partituta musical. Foto tomada de Internet Let me start by saying that music is created by combining different... 
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Fernando Portuondo del Prado, outstanding Cuban pedagogue and historian

Havana, Cuba. – Fernando de la Cruz Portuondo del Prado was an outstanding man of letters. He graduated in Havana University as PhD in Pedagogy and Arts. He served as headmaster of the Educational Training Institute under the Ministry of Education; as professor and principal at Havana Training School of Regular Teachers and history professor in several institutions. Fernando Portuondo del Prado,... 
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The choir: wonderful musical expression

Havana, Cuba. – The definition of choir is very simple: a group of vocalists gathered to sing a musical piece. How are they assembled? Coro Nacional de Cuba. Foto tomada de Radio Rebelde Let us just say there can be several small groups of singers in a choir. They are gathered according to their tessitura or kind of voice. That is to say, from deeper to higher, and they are arranged in bass,... 
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Rafael Ortiz, brilliant Cuban musician

Havana, Cuba. – Rafael Ortiz, Cuban guitarist and composer, glory of Son, was born on June 19 1908, 106 years ago, in Cienfuegos. Rafael Ortiz Rodríguez, músico cubano. Foto: Archivo CREART He transcended in music for the excellent quality of his compositions and for having given Bolero-Son an elegance and originality that caused a great impact.He started taking guitar lessons with Vicente... 

Benigno Souza, remarkable Cuban surgeon and intellectual

Havana, Cuba. – Dr. Benigno Souza, Cuban surgeon, journalist and historian passed away 60 years ago. Posterity remembers him for his most important work, the biography of Major General Maximo Gomez, commander in chief of Cuban Liberation Army. He was born in 1872, in the town of Corral Falso de Macurijes, Matanzas.  Young Benigno met Major General Gomez during the invasion of Cuban West in January... 

Antonio Valverde, outstanding Cuban intellectual

Havana, Cuba. – Antonio Valverde was an outstanding man of letters. The writer, lawyer, professor and journalist was born in Havana in 1867, where he took all his studies. He graduated in Havana University as PhD in Civil and Canonical Law in 1892. He practiced law and taught Commercial Law, writing several treaties. He worked at Havana Trade College, where he imparted Trade History, after winning... 

A walk through Havana’s Paseo del Prado

Havana, Cuba. – I have always been tempted to ask what takes us there. Is it the need to rest, the charm of a sharing a conversation or just to behold the city’s hustle and bustle? Havana’s Paseo del Prado is an imperative in my life. I prefer it in the afternoons, when setting sun dims the colors and sunbeams no longer scorch the benches. Paseo del Prado en La Habana In the mornings, sometimes... 
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The chronicler of Cuban music

Havana, Cuba. – When the host of Mirador de la Habana was about to introduce the guest of the day, he didn’t know whether to say journalist, musicologist or arts graduate. Rafael Lam periodista y musicólogo cubano Finally, Rafael Lam himself suggested to be called Cuban music’s chronicler. Such a title is not misleading, although some puny mind may find it unwarranted. Going through...