Sensual Woman and musical notes

The eroticism and the Cuban music, so hot you get burned!

Ana Cerón, a specialist on the erotic matter, defines how it is expressed in different ways about relations that provoke pleasure. So an erotic can be between the patient and his doctor, between the student and his professor, and of course, the one that’s made between lovers, because this joy is so important like breathing.

I love above all, her synthesis of the phenomenon when says that the eroticism is the art of giving and receiving pleasure, a sublime part of desire that doesn’t show necessarily, because it’s enough to evoke, I mean, suggest, let the imagination goes away.

Here it’s where in my opinion, the evocative role of the song takes an important part in any of its ways and in the Cuban music it’s given in an intelligent way and the suggesting lyrics of the song, it’s linked to the interpretative force of its exponents and in occasions, above all in the guaracha or the son, it comes supported in the double sense of the text.

 

I sing and make love to you…

The singer Graciela Pérez smiling with glasses
Graciela felt “that” if she was said no…

Some refer the origin of the song with eroticism in Cuba to the interpretations that the singer Graciela Péerez used to do, Machito’s half-sister, Ay José, by an unknown author: «Ay José, así no es/ Ay José, hazlo otra vez«” and of Si, sí, no, no: «No me digas que no, porque me da eso…» (Ay Jose, that’s not the way/Ay Jose, do it again. Yes, yes, no, no: Don’t say no to me, because I can get that) with her groans and exclamations of pleasure, beyond the words. Graciela was one of the greatest Cuban singers of all times and her brother Machito, together with her brother in law Mario Bauzá, revolutionized the jazz, merging it with the Cuban rhythms, in The States, where they passed away.

After who could be the pioneer of this way of feeling, it’s La Lupe, who the Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante qualified, assuming the title of one of her songs, as a woman with «the evil in her body and an angel in her voice». Songs that made her so successful and took her to the highest position of the popular preference, like happened afterwards during her residence in America.

The music studious Raul Martinez Rodriguez, in his book Para el alma divertir, reviews her performances when she acted in the club La Red, on 19th and L Streets, Vedado: «La Lupe used to sing and acted excessively, shouting, crying, biting her hands, saying four letter words to the public, scratching her face, taking off her shoes with the ones she used to hit Homero, her resigned piano player».

Many songs were that identified her in those years, from No me quieras así by Facundo Rivero, known popularly as La pared, going through Con el Diablo en el cuerpo by Julio Gutierrez, Crazy love by Paul Anka, Alone by Silma Grafo or Fever by Bavempor-Cooley, just to mention some.

“La Yiyi”, as she was called, never let behind her way of being, like she was enjoying some orgasms with this universal moan that labels her joy with her uncontrollable «Ay, ay…» Let’s her singing any of Fever verses, like the one that says: You give me fever /When you kiss me/ Fever when you hold me tight/ Fever in the morning/ And fever all through the night. It’s like saying jocularly, feeling more disturbing than ever.

It turned out paradoxical that after singing in that way, La Lupe has denied that way of making a product of some of her personal problems that took her to worship the evangelical religion, by her partners and also famous singers Blanca Rosa Gil and Xiomara Alfaro.

Another example of this interpretative way is Olga Guillot who at singing, according to her own words, said: «If I tremble and sigh, all that comes from my own soul, it’s a hurricane echo that has passed inside of me. Believe me…» just like Mienteme by the Mexican Chamaco Dominguez, with the one she won her first Golden Record, it trembles and makes us trembled when she sings «Lie to me more that your evil makes me happy» and no less in the «You used to get me into those things/you taught me they’re wonderful» or «You’ll remember me in the secret hours of your sensuality» by the Cuban composer Frank Dominguez.

 

“Son” and Love are made gently

In the “sones” and guarachas the sexual sense is drawn with a major clarity, from the popular Cuban codes. «Gently is the way I like more» (expression that refers to the way of dancing the “son” but also the way you make love), by Ignacio Piñeiro, sung by the Septeto Habanero, «Ponme la mano aqui, Macorina» (put your hand right here, Macorina) Where is it said to Macorina to put her hand on? «Si me pides el pesca’o te lo doy» (If I’m asked for my “fish” I give it to you), by Eliseo Grenet (fish equals sex); El fotingo de Caridad, a hit sung by Pedrito Calvo, (Caridad’s buttocks), in this case, fotingo equals buttocks; or that guaracha by Ritmo Oriental band that said «La negra no quiere que le monten la guagua por detrás» (the black woman doesn’t like to be boarded in the back), it equals to have anal sexual relations.

Ñico Saquito, the great guarachero, bequeathed us a funny animal fable with a lot of cunning and with a double meaning Cuidadito Compay Gallo: «Thank Goodness I spoke, otherwise, Rufino the rooster catches me», this was put in the beak of a parrot, in an angry way it fought back before the wrong sexual attack of a rooster, taking the parrot as a hen. You don’t have to say this guaracha was a complete hit in the country.

Emblematic was also Faustino Oramas from XX century, also known as The Guayabero with his peculiar way of guarachear his catchy songs like A mi me gusta que baile Marieta with well strung double meaning complete lines or his famous song La yuca de Casimiro (Casimiro’s yucca), where a comparison is done between the yucca and the penis.

No less important in his double reading are some of the inspirations of Arsenio Rodríguez, among them El reloj de Pastora «En la puerta de tu casa/ sentí que se me paraba/ en la puerta de tu casa/ sentí que se me paraba/el relojito de pulsera/ que en el bolsillo llevaba» (Pastora’s watch: at your door/ I felt it erected/ at the door of your House/ it felt erected/ my wristwatch/that I carried in my pocket) and Me gustó «Esa cosa que me hiciste, mami, me gustó, me gustó…» (I liked it: what you did, babe, liked it, liked it). We ask you, my friend reader, what’s the thing that Arsenio liked the most…?

La Ruñidera can’t be missing, by Nacho Sanabria and his personal remarks: «Tiene mi son, un bamboleo/de una manera sin par/ Cuando me pongo a bailar todos dicen a la vez/ Que ruñidera mamá, que ruñidera/ rúñeme mamá…rúñeme». (My “son” has a swaying/ of an unrivalled way/ when I dance, everybody says at the same time/ What an argument babe, what an argument/ argue with me babe…argue with me)

Tony Ávila with a mic in his hand.
La Choza de Chacho y Chicha is a modern referent of the erotic-picaresque genre.

Now a young talent forays on those ways. We are talking about Tony Ávila and his La choza de Chacho y Chicha, with his pun of «A Chacho le gusta la choza de Chicha» (Chacho likes Chicha’s hut). Arising out of the repetition of the mentioned chorus, one confuses the word choza with chocha (hut is confused with kunt talking in the Cuban sense), word that defines the female genitals in the popular slang.

The topic never ends; our tropical country has in its boiling blood all the eroticism of the amalgamated tropic in this melting pot of races that represent the African and the Spanish.

Pictures by Roberto Ruiz

Sources: Enrisco’s blog. Wikipedia, Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s article in the magazine Vueltas, Nicolás Guillén’s article.

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Cuban orchestra at a radio cabin

The Kings of the Radio in the 1950 Decade, Cuban Bands: The Wonder, (II Part)

Yesterday like today, the strong point of our music keeps the dancing one so we’re dedicating this final part of our work to groups that during this wonderful time, stood out due to their impromptu in the national work.

One almost forgotten from those times is with no doubts is Nelo Sosa’s Colonial Band, if we take into account the collection of “tops” in the hit parade: ¿Dónde estabas tú? by Ernesto Duarte Brito, Más daño me hizo tu amor, bolero by Juan Arrondo, Estoy como nunca, mambo by Don Raymat, Cosas del alma, bolero by Pepe Delgado, Ya voló, guaracha by Tony Tejera.

Another one who made a hit was the Conjunto Casino, with songs like: La media naranja, guaracha by Alberto Caissé, Realidad y fantasía, bolero by Cesar Portillo de la Luz, the boleros Te digo culpable, by Pepe Delgado and Plazos traicioneros by Luis Marquetti, in the voices of Roberto Faz and Celio González, respectively, Nicolasa by Ernesto Duarte and the no less successful Humo y espuma by Rolando Solórzano, sung by Fernando Alvarez.

Tito Gómez singing with Jorrín Orchestra
Tito Gómez and Jorrín Orchestra: a succesful formula

The Cha-cha irruption, having among its members, its creator Enrique Jorrin, made that America band was a kind of little princess loved by the dancers, first with Jorrin’s songs like La engañadora, El alardoso, Silver Star, Cógele bien el compás and El túnel, so songs from other composers were included like Triste muñeca by Félix Reyna, No camino más by Ninón Mondejar, Rico vacilon by Rosendo Ruiz and the popular Me lo dijo Adela by Otilio Portal.

Although he arrived late to the convite, it wasn’t an obstacle so the Aragon band, made some of these songs mentioned above of its own and they were played as popular as when the America band did.

Songs of its own creation at Cha-cha style like Cero codazos, cero cabezazos by Rafael Lay, father, director of the band, El Bodeguero by Richard Egües, flautist of the band, Tres lindas Cubanas in wonderful arrangements by Richard Egües and Rafael Lay, Sabrosona by Rafael Lay and Richard Egües, Bombón Cha by Rafael Lay, Richard Egües and Rafael Ortiz were added. From other composers Calculadora by Rosendo Rosell and Eloy Fernández, Yo quiero una muñeca by Juanito Tremble, A mi manera by Marcelino Guerra Abreu and El trago by the so mentioned Richard Egües were made hits.

The Riverside band was created in 1938 by the outstanding musician and director Enrique González Mántici and later the boss was Pedro Vila. Many songs are his but we can’t forget how Tito Gómez, gave a great impulse to place the band as the first one at that time as its equals.

Other hands that helped to it were the arrangements and compositions by Pedro Justiz (Peruchín) in mambos like Mamey Colorao and Mambolandia, both of his. Others from a great hit were Mambo en España by Ramón Márquez, Guempa by Bebo Valdés and Mambo a lo Kenton, dedicated to the American jazz player Stan Kenton by Armando Romeu.

On the other hand Tito Gómez made a hit among the most popular Amor, amor, amor by Gabriel Ruiz, Alma de mujer by Armando Valdespí, Cuando ya no me quieras by the Cuates Castillas, ¿Y, tú que has hecho? by Eusebio Delfín, No es posible querer tanto by Adolfo Guzmán, Pensamiento by Rafael Gómez (Teofilito), Aprende corazón by Agustín Rodríguez and Ahora somos felices by Rafael Hernández.

Gómez left for all times his matchless interpretation of Vereda Tropical by the Mexican Gonzalo Curiel, being an international hit, despite being sung before by Toña la Negra, Juan Arbizu and Pedro Vargas.

The Sonora Matancera is also in the ranking, although we highlighted some of its hits in the first work of the serie, when we spoke about Celia Cruz. To those we would have to add: En la orilla del mar, bolero by José Ignacio Berroa, sung by Bienvenido Granda, Cañonazo by Evaristo A. Zaragoza by Laito Sureda and Tu rica boca by Aurelio Machín sung by Carlos Argentino.

We can’t forget either the incomparable sound of the trumpet of Felix Chapottin and his band, taking into account the voice of the great Miguelito Cuní: Alto Songo by Lili Martínez, Quimbombó que resbala by Luis Griñan and Canallón by Félix Amaro Ferrer.

Also memorable were the Maravillas de Arcaño with its Jamaiquino by El Niño Rivera, the song Tú me acostumbraste by Frank Domínguez sung by Rene Cabell, Conozca a Cuba primero by Eduardo Saborit Pérez, sung by Ramón Veloz.

Two comedians of great fame made their interpretations and they “sneaked” with no problems among the most favorite, along with the Melodías del 40 band, Pototo and Filomeno, with Carta a mamita (by Leopoldo Fernández), and on the other hand the band itself hit the most heard: the son montuno Me voy pa’ Morón by José I. Herrera and Yo soy tiburón by Jesús Guerra Zayas.

No less interesting is to acknowledge as inside that sound atmosphere, three guitars made big hits in the popular taste. It’s about Servando Díaz’s trio. His portfolio of impact includes songs like Chupando caña by Eduardo Pascual Saborit Pérez, guaracha, Abusadora by Ramón Cabrera and Adolfo Rodríguez, Deja que suba la marea by Otilio Portal, De ti enamorado by Remberto Bécquer, Para Cuba traigo un son by Mario Fernández Porta and ¿Qué es lo tuyo Rubirosa? by Ñico Saquito.

We should include María Teresa Vera and Lorenzo Hierrezuelo duet with that current bolero up today titled Veinte años, by the same María Teresa’s music and the lyrics by Guillermina Aramburu.

Sources: EcuRed, Helio Orovio Dictionary, Articles of the journalist and researcher Lino Betancourt.

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sketch of romantic couple listening the radio

The Kings of the Radio in the 1950 Decade (I part)

Of course not. Covering in two works the most musical compositions of this decade, not only it would be too trusting even to it would be an injustice with a time featured by the musical richness and the variety of soloists, duets, trios, quartets, bands, that offer their impromptu to a gold stage of the Cuban music.

So what it’s going to be done is a personal selection, limited like all human work, about those who could be the most representative within the national field.

Let’s begin with the maestro Eliseo Grenet, author of Felipe Blanco, a work that before reaching its popularity got its author’s life. On November 3rd, 1950 while he was attending the rehearsal of that composition, he heard that his work had been prohibited by “having porn insinuations”, according to the resolution of the Ethical Radial Commission. Due to his very high hypertension he suffered, passed away at the following day.

A little later that Sucu suco will win over the disapproval and sung by the Trio Servando Diaz and by the Conjunto Casino band, it’d reach the first positions of the Hit Parade.

 

Benny, the king of a time

Without doubt among the soloists from the 50, Benny Moré is one who put more successful songs on the dial and in the slot machines of that time. The Barbaro del Ritmo was called with affection, he stood out by singing and sometimes composing, melodies dedicated to cities of the island, and all of them were very popular.

His main source was the composer Ramón Cabrera, who gave to his wonderful voice titles like Guantanamo, Adios a Palma Soriano, Manzanillo, and Santiago de Cuba in the form of montuno sones. Benny More also inspired himself with two titles, Cienfuegos and Santa Isabel de las Lajas, and this last one to clarify the controversy on his place of birth.

His versatility was so huge that the sentimental took also its place: Oh Vida! (Luis Yanez-Rolando Gomez), Como fue (Ernesto Duarte), No me vayas a engañar (Osvaldo Farres), Alma mia (Ricardo Perez Martinez) and from his own  composition invention Amor sin fe and Ahora soy tan feliz. About duets, they’re so unforgettable, the ones he did with Olga Guillot: Tu me sabes comprender by Ricardo Perez, Hoy como ayer, sung together with Fernando Alvarez, La vida es un sueño by Arsenio Rodriguez with Pedro Vargas and Alma mia, Juan Bruno Tarraza’s original with the Venezuelan Alfredo Sadel.

Besides the King, there were Queens

Yes Sir indeed and some of them, but in a selection of selections, before the tyrannical space, I’m in favor of Olga Guillot and Celia Cruz, two characters within the Cuban limelight, each of them of a different style.

The first appealed to the feelings with a voice “de cama” (of bed), since she burst strongly with her interpretation of Mientéme, by the Mexican Chamaco Dominguez. Her entrance to the world of the record, despite being 30 years old already, was so hair-raising like her way of singing and this made possible to win the first Gold Record because of the thousand records sold.

Among the songs he sang and it was one he made a hit are “La gloria eres tu” by Jose Antonio Mendez, “El King”, ¿Cómo fue? by Ernesto Duarte Brito, Quiereme mucho by Gonzalo Roig, Ya que te vas by Ernestina Lecuona and Alvaro Suarez, Vete by Candito Ruiz, Palabras Calladas by Juan Bruno Tarraza and others.

Celia Cruz was a five category cyclone, all rhythm, a very enjoyable woman of the best Cuban style and in those 50s her greatest success was with the Sonora Matancera as a companion band. A rapid list includes compositions like Cao, cao, mani pica’o by Jose Carbo, Baba é by Rogelio Martinez, Mata Siguaraya by Gonzalo Asencio/Lino Frias, Burundanga by the inspiration of Oscar Munoz, Melao de Caña original by Mercedes Pedroso and El Yerbero Moderno by Nestor Mili.

 

Gentlemen prefer them romantic

In the 50s there are male names that left their legacy like Orlando Vallejo with songs like El Gallo, la gallina y el caballo guaracha by Jose Carbo Menendez and the boleros Cielo y sol by Juan Pablo Miranda, Novia mia by Jose Antonio Mendez, Nueva vida by Piloto and Vera, Mi nueva canción by Rey Diez Calvet and Maldito de mi by Rosendo Ruiz Quevedo.

Another male voice that gave that time some shining was Fernando Albuerne and in his string of success are Dos Gardenias by Isolina Carrillo, No puedo ser feliz by Adolfo Guzman and Ya que te vas by Ernestina Lecuona and Alvaro Suarez.

We can’t forget the impact caused on those days the song Plazos traicioneros by Luis Marquetti, a big bolero sung by Celio González and later it was included in his repertoire figures like Vicentico Valdés and Pedro Vargas.

(to be continued)

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Leonora Rega striking artistic pose

Leonora Rega’s Second Death

“You dig a grave / and today coming back / you’ll know I’m dead ‘cause of your fake / and already wrecked down / lonely and beaten you’ll cry”, (verse of one of the most famous songs performed by Leonora Rega).

Just a bundle of nerves, a very personal style but related to La Lupe and Moraima Secada in singing, Leonora Rega is one of those singers who deserves to be rescued from oversight so by her couldn’t careless attitude or ignorance, she’s been buried like if we were dealing with a second death.

She was born in the capital on July 1st, 1941 and she passed away at the early age of 47 on September 21st, 1981.

Her artistic life began very early when she was still a minor and took part in Aida’s quartet to replace the outstanding Elena Burke, who was leaving the group to begin her career as a soloist.

 

What vocal skills would the girl have to be accepted to replace Mrs. Burke?

Leonora Rega in front of FOCSA building, at Vedado, Havana
Leonora Rega, another emotional Cuban singer

Without doubt, at the beginning, Leonora was the echo of the trail left by the “Sentimiento Lady” (La Burke). She realized that she had possibilities too and could be genuine.

Besides, we can’t forget as that quartet was a real school, the one Aida Diestro gave all her know how and from it, voices like Omara Portuondo’s, and the so called Elena’s, Moraima Secada’s, and others would arise.

She makes her first trip together with the quartet abroad, to Argentina and Moraima has to sign a document making her responsible for the minor.

 

 

She did a part aside

May, 1963, highlights her debut as a soloist at The Capri Hotel Casino, a place where she made her singing skills shine and gains the audience’s favor where names like Olga Guillot and Gina León shined as well.

Havana at night, and other places from the country, enjoys her presence and she can be seen and heard at The Habana Libre’s, The Nacional’s, and The Internacional’s in Varadero and even in Tropicana’s cabarets.

Radio and television, at those times, witness her constant presence. On the little screen, she appeared in the star programs Juntos a las nueve and Recital, both directed by Manolo Riffat and having Eva Rodríguez animation.

She made a long tour abroad that took the former Soviet Union and some other socialist countries.

It was no free at all when the radio program “A solas contigo”, with Meme Solís and Elena Burke ( Radio Progreso, 10:00 PM) stopped being broadcasted, Leonora Rega, together with the guitar player Cary del Río, were in charge of taking that place.

To a del Río’s song, Leonora’s most emblematic song is there: “Cavaste una tumba”, from which she made a difficult making to master, although María Antonieta, another successful Cuban singer in cabarets and night clubs from the 70’s and 80’s, included it in a record called Sin Límite.

I can’t tell the date but in the 70s, Rega, showed the popular acceptance reached when she offered a recital at The Amadeo Roldán Theater, on Calzada and D, in Vedado. That night the seats were not enough but the audience didn’t daunt and took the halls and stairs, not to miss the show.

Besides the so called Cavaste una tumba”, her repertoire included songs like Alma Libre (…like a magician from the East), by Juan Bruno Tarraza, and above all from the composer Carol Quintana, a whole serial like Viviendo mi verdad, Lo que más deseo en el mundo, Que la vida sepa. Also other outstanding composers Like Adolfo Guzmán, Juan Arrondo, Pablo Reyes, Olga Navarro and Miguel Chavéz, offered her some of their songs.

Her last presentation in public was at García Lorca theater. From that moment, a thick layer of silence covered this great figure from the Cuban music like Rega’s second death, in the country that saw her to be born.

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Gina León striking an artistic pose

The leading voice at Capri nights

Gina León is, if there’s no another opposite information, the first Cuban singer with a record recorded according to her performances in one of the most exciting cabarets in Havana, under the title: Gina sings in The Capri.

Like happens in some other occasions, everything was due to a chance like happens so often in the history of the great art singers.

It was 1961 and Anido opened at The Capri hotel Casino, his super production “Serenata Mulata”, starred by Olga Guillot, this popular singer. In the production were acting Celeste Mendoza, Gigi Ambar, the vedette Clarita Castillo, the corner Tony Escarpenter and the funny woman Juana Bacallao. Two leading roles made up of the team: Joaquin Riviera in the choreography and Rafael Ortega in the music direction.

But Guillot had other plans and in March of that year, she announced that a great contract was calling her in Caracas, Venezuela; on a trip she knew it was one way ticket.

Gina León with a very fashion sixties hairdo
Gina was also a mode icon in Cuba

It seemed that the show would come down without a main figure. Anido made up something out of nothing: Gina León who was already one of the stars of the Cuban musical firmament and she was strongly at The Habana Libre Hotel cabaret, so as the programs on the radio and television. Even in those moments she recorded for Gema, Guillermo Alvarez Guedes’s recording label, a 12 hit song longplay.

While the negotiations between Anido and the singer were taking place, Gigi Ambar took the vacant chair.

Having the deal off, Gina performed at Capri, with a big strength that the place became a popular site for the bohemians and their couples who disputed the possibility to reserve a table in that kind of feeling cathedral.

Her voice was the leading of the night and in July, 1961, Anido already conceived for her, “Me voy pa’Brasil” and even outlined the most striking and out of this world designs that have ever known in that time.

As a result of that explosion, united to his hard working presence in the most popular programs of radio and television, a vinyl record came out in 1962 under the title of “Gina sings at The Capri”, which includes compositions like Aléjate, Nada son mis brazos, Debí llorar, Qué nos pasa, among others.

When the story is written from The Capri cabaret or even from the farandula nights in Vedado, someone can’t be forgotten who trembled with her voice and presence.

 

School, what for?

Born on April 19th, 1937, when she was young she liked to sing, although her parents weren’t artists but her call seemed to be her grandmother Agueda who used to turn on the radio  to listen to danzones and romantic songs and in many occasions she used to count on that with the company of her granddaughter.

Neighbors, friends and relatives discovered her skills real soon, with only 15, made the evenings nice, singing any melody.

Urgently needed for that situation, her decided to take her one day to school of music to make her a test which she came out really well (she has the voice of mezzosoprano, they said), but for the professor’s disenchantment, Gina refused to register. This unexpected attitude would explain her that she didn’t have any interest not even lyrical or opera.

 

A Star is born

Gina León in a performance
Gina León in the 80´s

A little by her likes and another to prove herself, she participated in an amateur singing contest on the Radio Popular radio station, where she was double winner. One, for the first award because of her “La novia de todos” singing, and another one because a musician, Candito Ruiz, realized that a star was born that night.

Ruiz was a pianist and composer and author of some popular melodies. He took her under his protection; made her a repertoire and soon she did her professional debut at the Monte Casino cabaret dance floor.

Her first trip abroad was to Panama where she acted at Bahia cabaret in 1957. In 1987 she returned to that country to perform at The Continental Hotel, in a show together with Bobby Carcassés. In this last occasion, La Estrella journal qualified her as an extraordinary singer with a very powerful voice.

Other of her trips abroad was in 1962 where she participated at Sopot Song International Festival, Poland and after she acted at the Friedrichstad Palace, in Berlin so like in other cities of the former German Democratic Republic.

Her repertoire of songs is wide and among them we can mention Canta lo sentimental, by Fuentes and Montiel, Eclipse by Margarita Lecuona, Como aquel día by Ricardo Rodríguez, Estar enamorado by Adolfo Guzmán, Perdóname by Felo Bergaza, Debí llorar by Piloto and Vera and her main song Que te cuesta by Ricardo García Perdomo, among others.

The composer Marta Valdés has said about Gina that “She has very unusual vocal features in our current artistic field, first place because of her possibilities in the upper register, which isn’t frequent in our songbooks and in second place, because she has a furred pitch, nice and a way to use it in the moments of melodic climax, without an only shrill”.

Sources: EcuRed, Dictionary of The Cuban Music by Helio Orovio.

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Meme Solís quartet

THE SO CALLED MEME SOLÍS

From the Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo, these are the lines: ‘…he was hit hard with a stick and hard with a rope without doing anything.’ The main character of this story could have been the inspiration of this line.

 

A few have left a mark so deep in the Cuban music like him and not a few have suffered the years of silence and agony like Meme Solís.

Composer, singer, show producer, he paid a large sentence, according to some of 18 years, before he was given the current exit permit in his years of “inxile” in the land where he was born.

All began when he decided to leave Cuba one day after a season in which a curtain of silence on the national radio station and television was spread, in a moment he enjoyed the biggest popularity among the Cuban quartets… but everything has a start.

Although he was born in Mayajigua, Las Villas former province, his parents moved to Santa Clara and at the age of 6, studied music at the Rita Chapú School of Music of that town.

It seems that his first confrontation with the audience was at the age of 14, with the absent of a piano player, he was asked to join Olga Guillot and Fernando Albuerne who were going to sing on the opening night at the Cloris movie theater, located downtown, across from Vidal park.

Santa Clara also witnessed of the creation of his first quartet, made up of just women, by Osiris Aguilar Valdés, Lila García, Bilín Cabrisas and Francis Domenech. Directed and accompanied at piano by Meme, they performed at the famous Venecia cabaret in that town then.

 

I’m going to Havana

Before the insecure situation living in the country, and somehow in the Central region, the band is broken up.

He is taken to Havana by Fernando Albuerne, Gaspar Pumarejo, founder of the Cuban television, baptized him with the artistic name Meme, like his sisters used to call this young talent. Here he reached to record a long play record joining with Elena Burke called La Burke canta. Here he shows his composing paws including hits like “Que infelicidad”, “Para seguirte adorando” and “Es una verdad quererte”.

Meme Solís quartet during a performance
Raúl Acosta, Farah María, Miguel Ángel Piña and Meme Solís

He joins the most outstanding figures of those times but not used to sleeping on the mattress of success, he launches himself what it would be the most popular quartets of all times: Meme Solís’s Quartet.

It wasn’t easy and like many bands, they had their ups and downs due to the members, most of all at the beginning. But Solís’s creativity made that the changes didn’t affect the quality of his songs.

High-pitched in the making of the voices, the line of the quartet was always up, from its first steps when he used to count on Moraima Secada, Horacio Riquelme and Ernesto Martín, after Bobby Jiménez replaced Riquelme and Raúl Acosta replaced Martín, after Farah María replaced Moraima Secada and Miguel Ángel Piña replaced Bobby Jiménez and finally Héctor Tellez entered the band.

 

How was it…?

As Meme´s fellow country-man, I came to Havana in 1963, although I didn’t begin to write about the farandula until 1965, he was indeed an admirer of the quartet and Meme particularly, who he used to hear at 11 o’clock on the radio, together with Elena Burke and Luis García, in the program A solas contigo, that lasted about 20 years on air.

He was done a few forays in the artistic world but when I began to write, I remember that at International Song Festival held in Varadero in 1967, my colleague Carlos Franco, Peroga, photographer and the one who subscribes, chose his quartet like one the three artists most popular of the Cuban representation. The other two were Elena Burke and Miriam Ramos.

I can’t specify when over the artist and his group, the veil of silence covered them. It wasn’t anything written but we all knew and obeyed with a better cause discipline.

In the blurred memory that years last, I think in that time, the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba Theater, opened its doors for three weekend concerts, they were a total sold out hit and too many kept without a ticket, despite the poor advertisement.

The human beings have a limit and Meme saw that personal blockade that stopped him to be present in theaters, cabarets, radio and television and decides to ask permission for leaving Cuba in 1969.

As a punishment for that personal decision, he’s sent to work as a worker in a factory of cardboard, waiting for the permission to leave the country that wasn’t given 18 years later, responding to Felipe González’s request, president of the Spanish government then.

 

Meme didn’t daunt…

Meme Solís playing the piano
Meme Solís playing the piano

His music not on the official media anymore, but in some enterprises’ activities, continued to be listened to.

It’s truth that there were art working partners who stopped treating him, there were other who kept the friendship and even sang some of his songs, among them Rosita Fornés and Elena Burke.

He was taken out of the factory and he was like a kind of assistant of the shows that were given in the beaches of the East, and even he was a member of Los Cuatro quartet, until today it cultivates a great part of its repertoire and even sang in dance floors and theatres but the radio press, written and TV one, couldn’t echo the opinion of those presentations.

It was in 1987 when he left Cuba to Spain, later he lives in New York and in his more of his 50 – year career, has recorded 15 records and composed around 300 songs, among them just to quote some “La distancia”, “Otro amanecer”, “Traigo mi voz”, “Ese hastío”, “Fue tu bendición”, “No mires para atrás”, “Y como sea”, “Estos días de lluvia”, “Destino de los dos”, “La Orquídea”, “Sin un reproche”, “Mañana habrá una vida”, and “Tengo fe”.

Like a boomerang for those who wanted to condemned him to the ostracism, on January 5th and 6th, 2013, at the America theater of this capital, a show titled Otro amanecer was held with the music of Meme Solís and the direction of Raúl de la Rosa, a complete sold out hit, with people of all ages during the two nights.

What it’s done a dear host of the men’s heart; nobody can snatch and from his detractors, nobody remembers anything.

 

Sources: Pedraza Ginori’s blog, Alexis Castañeda Pérez de Alejo’s work, from CMHW, Santa Clara and Helio Orovio’s Dictionary of Music.

Photos: author´s archives and YouYube

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guitar player silhouette walking on desert street

THREE CUBAN MUSICIANS OF HUGE GREATNESS AND SAD DESTINY

The Guajiro who left a pile of stars

It could have been an accident more, painful as always, but this November 26th, 2002, the hit of a car against a truck in the area known as La Coronela, in Havana, had the aggravating to shut a star’s life when he was on the highest of his musical firmament.

Fernando Borrego Linares, deceased in that collision and known artistically as Polo Montañez, at the age of 47, he was so popular, that his fans didn’t have a specific age and young, adults, elderly and even children echo his song lyrics, saturated with the simple wisdom of the men from the country.

Composer and singer, he took his voice through different countries, like Colombia, (being there 5 times), Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Equator, and Costa Rica.

Polo, despite his short time of an artistic life, became into such a myth, even some believe to see in one of his compositions like a certain premonition of his final fate.

It’s about a song called La última canción, which he expresses ‘…I don’t think that luck, comes to smile at me, after being lived so many years…the last song that comes to my mind must be, I think it must be romantic, a sentimental song that carries so much love, that bathes the heart with tears…’

Among his most popular compositions are: Montón de estrellas, Guajiro Natural, un bolero, Canten, El bien de los dos, Puras mentiras, La última canción, Si yo pudiera

And his recordings, as a proof of his eternity, are: Guajiro Natural – CD Lusafrica 362202, 2000-2001, Guitarra mía – CD Lusafrica 362502, 2002, Memoria – CD Lusafrica 462222, 2004, El Guajiro – DVD Lusafrica 462438, 2005.

 

The Chinese Embale’s wonderful throat

photographic collage of Carlos Embale television performance and plaque at Valencia Hostal in Old Havana
Carlos Embale and plaque at Valencia Hostal in Old Havana

One of the most wonderful voices of the Cuban musical history, a real cultured of the son and the rumba and its variants, a man with an enviable recording, died alone and sad, even unknown of himself due to his memory loss.

Since 1938, when he won in the Supreme Court of Art, from the CMQ radio station, until his death in this capital on March 12th, 1997, Embale left a loud history because of his ups and downs, he didn’t have the deserved recognition.

Because of his vocal quality, he was seen in many of the big bands of his time, like Septeto Bolero, Neno González’s band, Melodías del 40 and bands like Conjunto Matamoros; with this he did his first recordings for RCA Victor.

Interesting is the recording made in Cuba, 1960, with the Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría, for the American record Fantasy, together with Merceditas Valdés, Niño Rivera and others. The LP is called Mongo in Havana Bembé (Our man in Havana)

In 1956 Embale shows up together with Roberto Maza, in four recordings from Panart, with América del 55 Band, three of them singing cha cha.

We have to say that the music studious Odilio Urfé, not only recognized one and again Embale’s talent, in front of the official indifference, he was included in the plans to preserve the historical memory.

So he was included in the First Festival of Cuban Popular Music (1962), he was taken to New York, together with Pello el Afrokán, to perform in a folk music festival, that ended with a presentation at the Carnegie Hall. Besides he was the driving force to revitalize Ignacio Piñeiro Septet and the inclusion of Embale among its singers.

He did several lengthy vinyl records with them and in the movies he appears in the film Nosotros, la música, by Rogelio París, together with Celeste Mendoza and in the documentary La rumba, by Oscar Valdés.

From his authorship, minimum so far, they are the guaguancós A los Embales, A Matanzas, Timbalaye and Oh, humanidad (in co-authorship with Pablo Cano), A San Miguel del Padrón, Rumba de Inesita, La casa de mamita, and others.

The singer made a little trips abroad and complained about the excuse he was given not make it happen: ‘The Septet has too many elderly and any misfortune can happen out there’, and we say, these same members toured the island from  one place to another, and a misfortune couldn’t happen here as well?

At the end of his life, poor and lonely, Embale had a permanent invitation to have breakfast at Hostal Valencia from Old Havana. Today a special remembering reminds the place where the singer used to sit.

 

The lady singer

Manuel Corona
Manuel Corona

If we were to define so briefly the singer-songwriter Manuel Corona Raimundo, we would label him like the singer of the women and his classical songs include Longina, Mercedes, and Santa Cecilia trilogy, three tops of music.

Corona was born in Caibarién, province of Las Villas and in his first years of youth, he worked as a tobacco grower. At the beginning of the XX century, he went to Santiago de Cuba and established relations with the greatest of the trova like Pepe Sánchez, considered the father of the bolero, Pepe Bandera and Manuelico Delgado.

Mercedes was first sung in Havana by the unforgettable María Teresa Vera, song that belongs to a serie that includes Reverso de Mercedes and Última palabra a Mercedes. This self reply to his creations, it would be done once more time: Yoya and Contestación a Yoya and La rosa negra, that is a copy of Longina.

María Teresa Vera would be in those times the main driving force of his creations, recording among others: El 10 de Octubre, La aurora, Animada, Mis lamentos a mi guitarra, Doble inconsciencia, Contestación a Timidez, Longina, Mis Lágrimas, Rayos de Plata (reply to Rayos de oro, from another big troubadour, Sindo Garay), Tu alma y la mía, Las glorias de mi vida, Acuérdate de mí and Amelia.

Corona, also sang as a first voice as a second one and in some of the records, María Teresa invited him to sing.

The song Longina is practically a shield and emblem of his authorship but according to the studies, it wasn’t about a romance even a very well and sincere friendship. Today the mortal remains of the lady lie together with the bard in Caibarién.

The Cuban government in the decade of the 50, gave him a miserable pension and a recognition medal for his work but the musician didn’t attend the ceremony at Palacio Presidencial because a bar was in between on his way there.

He died in the most complete misery, on January 9th, 1950, in a beach hut located behind Jaruquito bar in Marianao beach and a group of Cuban composers was in charge of paying the funeral.

 

Sources: Helio Orovio Dictionary, Cubahora, Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal: Cuba canta y baila. Cuban music recording. Blog La desmemoria.

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: Sindo Garay famous Cuban musician

SINDO GARAY, THE CUBAN TROVA PATRIARCH

Without studying music, he’s one of the greatest composers from the end of the XIX century and half of the XX, admired by national and overseas composers.

Sindo Garay, one of the most prolific Cuban authors, who learned to read after being 16 and practically he didn’t study music, he was one of the most admired men by great Cuban musicians and foreign as well.

His father used to take him to see the zarzuela and operas in Santiago de Cuba and learned a little guitar with Pepe Sánchez, the troubadour considered as the first author of the known Cuban bolero.

The lyric singer Carmela de Leon wrote that Sindo ‘was above all a composer of songs and boleros, but forayed into the lied so happily, like Mendelssohn or Schubert could do it’: there his Germania and Guarina number 2 are there to bear witness.

A nature bohemian, the singer-songwriter never wanted to study and at the age of 16, and because of the need of learning, he proposed himself to learn how to read in a very personal way: he asked his friends to be told what letters and vowels appeared in some words in the newspaper, and later he copied them to make them his.

Antonio Gumersindo Garay Garcia (1867-1968), the first foreigner who surprised the German piano player German Michaelsen, who lived in Santiago de Cuba, showing him his Germania work, with a harmonic preparation that surprised the guest of honor who said that it reminded him the musical air of his land. This happened in 1888.

Besides his talent as a composer, other things that made him outstanding were his voice. On the contrary said by the theory that Sindo had an excellent baritone voice in spite of being so short and skinny.

The performer, together with his son Guarionex, sang making the second voice in one of the duets considered among the greatest of all times.

Going out on the town with Brindis de Salas

In a carnival in Santiago de Cuba, Sindo Garay and two more friends, disguised as women, singing a rumba, saw a tall black man, who looks at them with charm and joined the group really fast.

Strolling up and down Trocha Street, the man finally identified himself as Claudio José Domingo Brindis de Salas, the world famous Cuban violinist.

When the carnival parties ended, the friendship between the men was deeper and even he got to play in a duet with the just known man.

Sindo stated that the chords and melodic tones that he gave his guitar caused a great amazement to the renowned violinist.

Ojos Negros, Russian Folklore?

With Brindis de Salas, the troubadour attended to the representations of an Italian opera company and became a friend of the singers and dancers who sightsaw the streets of Santiago in the early morning.

Garay used to tell that a tone he made for his relative Ursula Coimbra was taught his visitors who began to hum it and took it to their country.

Later he heard the tone again but it looked like taken out of the Russian folklore under the title of Ojos Negros. ‘I never inscribed my works and things like this happened, the ones I never gave credit’, Sindo said

Praises for the bard

Sindo Garay smoking
Sindo Garay longeval Cuban composer

One afternoon, Sindo was at Anselmo Lopez editorial of music, located in Old Havana, and was with some important musicians while he was putting the chords to a song so a piano player named Carmela transcribe it.

Jose Martin Varona and Pepe Mauri, well known at that time, couldn’t hide their admiration before that composition and even though knowing that his composer didn’t know anything about musical theory. Another one who was present was Eduardo Sanchez de Fuente, who said that didn’t know a thing about music not even knew the stave.

In 1950 the notable guitar player Andres Segovia said about the singer: ‘this man is never wrong playing a low tone. He harmonizes well and he’s doing so well with so tiny hands!’

We have to add the praise made by the composer Manuel M. Ponce, who wondered with a spirit almost wild who could be so wonderful and the famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, when he heard him playing and singing in a duet with Guarionex, he said: Exoticism! Exoticism!

Sindo Garay’s work is huge, in 1945, 86 of his Works were recorded, where he and his sons sing together, accompany with a guitar, the ones are under the care of Popular Music Seminar from the Ministry of Culture.

 

Sources: Information taken from the book “Sindo Garay, Memorias de un trovador”, by Carmela Leon, Oriente Editorial, Santiago de Cuba.

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FOUR CUBAN MUSICIANS, UNFORTUNATE WINNERS

They used to share the same disability and the same passion

In the decade of the 50 and a little beyond there, some cases of blind musicians were known, which it wasn’t an obstacle to get a place of honor among the best  Cuban music cultured, we give you four forceful examples.

1. José Tejedor: The bolero King Midas

José Tejedor and Luis duet
José Tejedor and Luis duet

This popular singer made into a gold record the most varied compositions of this form. I recall, as an anecdote, that in the decade of the 60, in the music ward of the National Library, the most popular artist by the students who used to attend this place was José Tejedor, together with the incredible duet done with Luis Oviedo.

During more than 20 years he kept his program Tejedor en la tarde, on the COCO radio station, place where he made popular some of his great success like En las tinieblas, Dos veces, Cuando estés muy sola, Como nave sin rumbo, Con tu nombre en los labios. And among his records are found: En las tinieblas, Escándalo, Como nave sin rumbo, Pasión sin freno, Llora corazón, Mi Magdalena.

José Tejedor died on November 2nd, 1991 in Havana.

2. Music is made with the heart

Arsenio Rodríguez
Arsenio Rodríguez

Arsenio Rodríguez was born on August 31st, 1911 in Güira de Macurijes, Pedro Betancourt municipality, in the province of Matanzas and in a forge from there; it’s told that he lost his sight because of a horse kick but for others his blindness was due to an undiagnosed pigment retina.

The truth is that this Congo slave grandson took from the wisdom of his African ancestral origins together with the Spanish inheritance to make a musical ajiaco that made a revolution in the Cuban dancing music, so he was recognized for the posterity like El ciego maravilloso, “The Marvelous blindman”

The own musician explained the contributions he made to the son, adding the old septet format (trumpet, guitar, the tres) a piano, three trumpets and a drum. This, according to the experts, it wasn’t only an expansion of the instrumental format but it also offered a great variety of rhythms and harmonic concepts that would enrich as the son as the bolero, the guaracha and the mambo, being one of the precursors of this last rhythm.

In the decade of the 50 he went to The States and in New York he’s considered as one of the fathers of the Salsa.

Arsenio died in New York in 1970 and he’s buried in the Ferncliff cemetery where a plaque of Bronx with golden letters takes his name, date of birth and death, while a little Cuban flag leaves evidence of the land he was born.

Besides being an excellent tresero, the so called Ciego Maravilloso left multiple songs as a composer, among the ones we can mention: Bruca maniguá, Dame un cachito pa’huelé, El reloj de Pastora, Fuego en el 23, La yuca de Catalina, No me llores, Yo soy Kangá, La vida es un sueño, La ruñidera, Llora timbero, Meta y guaguancó, Como traigo la yuca, Confórmate, Corazón de chivo, El Cerro tiene la llave and others.

3. The lost walking stick man

Osvaldo Rodríguez
Osvaldo Rodríguez

Osvaldo Rodríguez was born in Los Arabos, province of Matanzas and his blindness wasn’t an obstacle so his name could be written with its own letters in the music. He got three Golden Records, the highest award that is offered by the Recording and Musical Editions Enterprise (EGREM, by its siglas in Spanish).

He had two big successes: the first as a director and founder of the band Los 5-U-4, where only one of its members wasn’t blind, and the other as a composer with songs like Calle San Nicolás, De lo simple a lo profundo, En casa del pobre and the so popular Se me perdió el bastón and bolero of all times that’s called El amor se acaba.

Other awards were the Silver Record for being the most popular singer in 1978, the Sochi Youth Song Festival Big Award, former Soviet Union and the XII World Popular Song Festival Big Award celebrated in Tokyo, Japan. Osvaldo lives in The USA today.

4. A jazz player who master the Cuban music?

Frank Emilio Flynn
Frank Emilio Flynn

The outstanding Cuban piano player Frank Emilio, already dead, according to his own confessions, never saw images, just lights and colors with the left eye until the age of 13 when he became completely blind.

He used to play the piano just by hearing and being a child, he was in different popular music bands.

With Armando Romeu, prepared a parallel study book of musical notation in the Braille system and the common one that allowed professors and transcript people with a vision to work for blind and vision impaired.

His recording is wide – ranging and we only mention some: Frank Emilio play Ignacio Cervantes, Magada Intl, 2000, Ancestral Reflections, Blue Note, 1999, Cuban Revolution Jazz (with other artists) Milán, 1999, a Tribute to Lecuona, Milán, 1997, The Cuban Piano Masters, with Jane Bunnet and others, EMI.

In LP records: Rico Melao, Egrem, Jazz 6PM. Egrem, Pianoforte Egrem, Tropicana, Volúmenes 1, 2,3 (Modern Music Quintet) Egrem, Danzas Cubanas Egrem, Paisajes de España DuArte, La Flauta en el Danzón Egrem, Frank Emilio presenta a Frank Emilio, Egrem.

I finish with these two opinions about Frank Emilio that makes full justice:

“Frank Emilio is a piano player who has influenced on every subsequent generation, and those to come, because he’s been updated. You can’t talk about Frank Emilio in the past, because he’s still current in the present”. Chucho Valdés

“For some is a jazz player who masters the Cuban music, for others, a Cuban piano player with a sixth sense for jazz music. The great blind musician is both things”. Nad Chediak (Latin jazz dictionary).

Pictures: Author archives and web site http://cdn.aarp.net

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The temperamental has the name of a woman

Temperamental among the temperamental, Moraima Secada is one of those singers who has left an indelible mark, and even she put a special mark, hard to brake in some songs. It happened with her Pérdoname conciencia singing by Piloto and Vera, that it was a compelling ending in one of her performances.

La Mora, as she was called as a child, was born on September 10th, 1930, on one of those important streets of Santa Clara city: San Miguel, between Union and Maceo, in the current province of Villa Clara. Her real name was María Micaela Secada Ramos. That day, she didn’t come to the world alone, she was accompanied by her twin María Carídad, as it seems she was the last one to be born, everybody used to say she was the youngest. She had 5 siblings.

The scout talent cathedral, La Corte Suprema del Arte, from the ancient CMQ, (located on Monte and Prado), gives one of the first awards for her Valencia pasodoble by the Spanish composer José Padilla.

That success, however, wasn’t the one that made her a box office hit, not even the one for finding her real singing call, just for the feeling, a music from the decade of the 50’s that would break the mould then, as in the harmonic and singing.

Rosendo Ruíz, son, composer, described in a tight synthesis the essence of the movement: ‘The song, thematically, it makes close itself, full of poetic images. More than singing, it’s expressed, it’s said (…), giving the singer some freedom’.

The days of rest, she used to iron in a laundromat by hand; she used to go to Angelito Díaz’s house in the Callejón de Hamel or Jorge Mazón’s, where Elena Burke, José Antonio Méndez, Luis Yánez, Cesar Portillo de la Luz, El Niño Rivera, Ñico Rivera and others used to go there.

Moraima Secada and Ladies Orchestra Anacaona
Moraima Secada and Las Anacaona

One of the female bands until we are grateful today its presence, the Anacaonas, had La Mora among its vocalists. There she shared presentations with Haydeé Portuondo, Omara’s sister, and she acted in our country and in Venezuela, Haiti and Santo Domingo as well, so she acquired the professional discipline from the example that Argimira Castro used to give, director of the band and her seven sisters, members of the band.

This maturity age allowed her to spend another enriched experience when she was among the D’Aida quartet founders, together with Elena Burke and the sisters Haydée and Omara Portuondo, also known as ‘Diva of Buena Vista Social Club’. The direction was in charge of the piano player and the arrangement musician Aida Diestro.

She was in that for eight years, which the one she travelled to the US, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Puerto Rico, so they recorded an LP with the Cuban Chico O’Farrill’s band.

It seems to be that in some of the three trips that Nat King Cole came to Cuba, between 1956 and 1958, D’Aida accompanied him in one of his performances at Tropicana cabaret. The quartet shared performances, besides, with Edith Piaf, Rita Montaner, Bola de Nieve and Benny Moré.

Get more details about Nat King Cole visit to Cuba here

Recalling her stay with D’Aida, Moraima said: ‘I learned with Aida Diestro to have a full master of my voice, to sing in tune, harmony and the rhythm. Aida was a star; she made up the best quartet from Cuba ever. She came from a church, that’s why she was a real creator within the harmonic treatment that obeyed the new Cuban and International music. I remember when we sang the bolero Cosas del alma by Pepé Delgado or Mamey Colorao by Peruchín, we made the present audience dance’.

One day, like many other members of the band, La Mora decided to leave. During a while she was accompanied by Los Bravos, a band from Santiago. Later she was in a quartet again, when she joined another important quartet from Meme Solís, author, composer and singer who made wonders in the editing of voices. In the repertoire selection, Solís’s poetic lyrics of songs were not missing.

Moraima Secada acting dramatically
Moraima Secada the temperamental

Finally she decided to come back to the soloist singing. All the previous school was there, but at the same time there was a way to be closer. To her contralto voice she used to contribute with all the emotion that a human being can have.

I remember her, because more than one night I walked her back to her home, after being the Pico Blanco’s lady and master, in La Rampa, where I used to go as a final coat, after wandering around in some nightclubs.

Going to see her was like being at home, I mean at hers, because one was taken through her organic moving, visceral, that was held or overcame when she sang the songs like Pérdoname conciencia by Piloto and Vera, Alivio by Julio Cobo, Cuidado by Nacho González and Me encontrarás and Vuélvete a mí by Tania Castellanos.

It could be thought that La Mora used to get to tremble us in a close place, like the Pico Blanco. Nothing farther than the truth. She showed her conditions in large stages with the same acceptance.

I recall in a very special way the two concerts that she performed at the Amadeo Roldán theater on May 26th and 27th, 1972. The place was completely crowded and many people were outside because the tickets were sold out.

In that occasion, she sang like 20 songs along with the Modern Music Cuban band. The extense programme finished with one of the biggest ovation that I have ever heard in my life. I don’t count the applauses that rewarded the end of every of her songs, like the previous ones mentioned, so we might add, although I skip any because of my not good memory: Mil congojas by Juan Pablo Miranda, Con él by Sarita Santana, Miedo de ti by Isolina Carrillo, Ese que está allí by Juan Arrondo, Ya no me quieres by María Grever, Ese sentimiento que se llama amor by José Antonio Méndez and Vereda Tropical by Gonzalo Curiel, and others. The next year she repeated the concert.

She also had Channy Chelacy’s songs in her repertoire, who was last greatest love and died in the criminal sabotage to the Cuban plane in Barbados. Among those songs are Se llama amor, Eres mi felicidad, Depende de ti and Rompiendo. Moraima died on December 30th, 1984 and her sound perseverance, made some small records and two long ones for the recording Company Areíto.

Temperamental among the temperamental, La Mora inscribe her name among figures like La Lupe and Freddy.

Sources:
Article of the journalist Rafael Lam, published in 2010, journalistic work of the musician Senén Suárez and conversations of the singer.

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