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Niño Rivera, father of harmony in the tres

Havana, Cuba. – Andres Echevarria, known in the artistic world as Niño Rivera, died on January 27 1996 in Havana. Since his early childhood, he was very much attracted to the musical instrument known as tres. The instrument was created in the eastern city of Baracoa and is regarded as an indispensable tool in Cuban traditional music. Echevarria was considered the father of this instrument’s... 

Alberto Vera: the great romantic of Cuban music

Havana, Cuba. – Cuban composer Alberto Vera died on December 18 1996. He was regarded as a great romantic since his first contributions to music, due to his unique lyrics. He was born in Havana, in a family of artists. His father Alberto was a designer and decorator and his mother, Maria Teresa, was an outstanding pianist and music teacher. He began his music studies at an early age, but destiny... 

I could never live out of Cuba

Havana, Cuba. – Talking to Juan Formell, bandleader of Los VanVan means having before you one of the leading characters of our latest history. The bassist, arranger, composer, singer and record producer is unassuming and easygoing. Formell knows that Cuban bands that play popular dancing music owe much of their current sonority to him, but he doesn’t boast about it. Músico cubano Juan Formell.... 

Jose Urfe, an essential musician

Havana, Cuba. – Cuban musical culture is deep-rooted in the process from where our nationality emerged, particularly in the fusion of Afro-Cuban contributions, although Spanish and French influences should not be underrated. José Urfé un músico de esencias During the XIX century, ballroom dancing prevailed in Cuba, but this only happened in stately houses and exclusive societies. In the streets,... 

Eliseo Grenet-Sanchez

Havana, Cuba. – This outstanding composer and pianist, one of the great of Cuban culture, created Cuban rhythms that have been played all over the world until today. Eliseo Grenet ranks as a member of the elite of illustrious Cuban musicians. He wrote the famous tango-congo “Ay, Mama Ines!” and many other famous themes. Eliseo Grenet, compositor y pianista cubano He was born on July 8 1893, in... 

Ernesto Lecuona, master of everlasting Cubanhood

Havana, Cuba. –  The songs he wrote have been heard throughout the world for almost a century in the voice of the most outstanding singers. Master Ernesto Lecuona was a Cuban artist of universal size. Lecuona’s hands had a great span in the keyboard, which enabled him to introduce simultaneous non-arpeggio notes… That was what he did in compositions like “Malagueña” and “Ahi viene... 

Enriqueta Almanza, accompanying pianist par excellence

Havana, Cuba. – If we had to name the most comprehensive Cuban accompanying pianist ever, we would undoubtedly choose the celebrated Enriqueta Almanza. Most experts regard her as the best in this specialty, due to her vast knowledge, professionalism and command of varied genres. Elena Burke canta y Enriqueta Almanza la acompaña en el piano. Foto tomada de Internet In her long career, she had... 

DEJA VU, a band with its own style in Cuban musical scene

Havana, Cuba. – In the beginning, this project brought together a few songwriters and musicians in a friendly jam session. Today, however, it is a full-fledged band whose members have diverse artistic concerns. DEJA VU, banda cubana. Foto tomada de Internet DÉJÀ VU” is a Cuban band made up by drummer Alberto Roque, guitarist Miguel Comas, bass player Alejandro Gonzalez and percussionist Michel... 

Lili Martinez: the pearl of Cuban East

Havana, Cuba. – Luis Martinez-Griñan is one of the greatest Cuban Son pianists. The composer and arranger was born in the eastern city of Guantanamo, where he started music studies with his sister, in spite of his father’s disagreement. Lilí Martínez: la perla del oriente cubano. Foto tomada de Internet Lili Martinez, as he was known in show business, first played in family and friends’... 

The Spanish operetta Cecilia Valdes: universal piece of Cuban musician Gonzalo Roig

Havana, Cuba. – Julio Gonzalo Elias Roig – Havana 1890-1970 – was one of those Cuban musicians with natural gifts, but was also very dedicated to the Spanish operetta in its most varied ways. Known in show business as Gonzalo Roig, he found plenty of space in his lengthy career for the Cuban roots. La zarzuela Cecilia Valdés: obra universal del músico cubano Gonzalo Roig. Foto...