Enrique Carballea. Illustration: Mayo Bous.
Enrique Carballea. Illustration: Mayo Bous.

Backstage: Enrique Carballea

3 minutes / Humberto Manduley

12.09.2018 / Articles

From dawn to dawn Enrique Carballea seeks to realize dreams. It does not matter if it is the trajectory of a musician, the making of a record, a video or an event. Everything requires intuition, Tibetan patience and hit doors, windows and even walls. In that he has become a capo. It is enough to open a little hole: that's where it goes, unbeatable.

For more than four decades he has moved on the axis of a culture of resistance to labels. Manager, producer, coordinator, visionary: friend. It is related to debutants and consecrated people. Some owe a good part of their popularity or transcendence quotas. Without your effective support or your accurate criticism, the present would not be the same. He is attracted to crossroads, experimentation and the risk factor. Theirs is to encourage the complex pieces of creation to find their exact place in the puzzle. It is no coincidence that his entry into these ranks was with Arte Vivo, a collective without precedents or continuators in Cuba. That was an innovative rock, that moved between concertante, improvisation, jazz and danzón. It was his first clash with egos and bureaucracies, with problems and solutions. He finished graduate with high honors that leave smiles and scars.

Later he became involved with different responsibilities in careers and projects of Víctor Rodríguez, Pedro Luis Ferrer, Sergio Vitier, Silvio Rodríguez, Haydée Milanés, Interactivo, Robertico Carcassés, Elmer Ferrer, Polaroid and El Diablo Ilustrado. A fan where there was more rock, but also blues, jazz, classical music, funk, song, trova, folklore, fusions. Stabilized proposals linking trade and affections. And, of course, there was Santiago Feliú: a point and a point for both. He accompanied him in one of his most fruitful periods, in discographies and scenarios. Some plan was truncated when the heart of the singer-songwriter missed the appointment with life. But even so, maybe Enrique will get them to work together again. Death is not always an end.

With Jazz Cuba Today (2005) premiered in the production of audiovisuals. Valuable testimony of instrumental approaches to the genre on the island, the DVD marked a style of work based on sobriety and interest towards different angles of national music. From there, she has maintained an aesthetic coherence in following experiences with Luna Manzanares, Sampling, Enrique Pla, the Arango Brothers and Drums Havana (Rodney Barreto & Oliver Valdés), among others. Regardless of the awards obtained, they are identified by an ethic that renounces the limelight of easy applause.

For Enrique Carballea, success is just a way to feel good after each day. More musician than some who walk around, when they turn off the last amplifier and the last light bulb, he is happy simply listening to his Led Zeppelin and Emiliano Salvador records, drinking a beer and reviewing memories for a book he has not written. About forty years ago, with fluctuating doses of madness and lucidity, he continues to look for a living art.

Humberto Manduley

Father twice, music lover without a diploma and currently unemployed. He likes to walk, read and listen to music without a specific order. Sometimes he writes.

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