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Giving the note detail of the cover of the album Amor a Santiago, by Alberto Tosca and the Septeto Turquino. detail of the cover of the album "Amor a Santiago", by Alberto Tosca and the Septeto Turquino.

love to santiago

Tosca, black, my brother: 

I take advantage of a friend traveling urgently there, to Santiago, to take this "jam" that since I heard your last recordings I want to send you. 

Yes, sir! There are a lot of love to Santiago de Cuba and a lot of love to all of Cuba in this music of yours that you have been cooking over there where even the earth itself gets excited and trembles so often; where they have no measure neither the heat of the air, nor the human offered by its hospitable settlers; where even coffee, rum, and fruits keep flavors close to the tree, the root, the mountain ...

It is not that your songs disrupt the heroic city, but the city goes through, floods and overflows your entire album. There is the city with its sones, its trovas, with its French reminiscences from a neighboring and influential Haiti, with its Caribbean essences and even its sweeping congas. 

Santiago is with its streets that are so steep that they break down on stairs or die in cliffs, with their Morro, with their Tivoli, with their Cayo ...

Santiago is even in your new ways of interpreting some of your songs that you bring from other stages of your creation, but that, as they are here, they achieve even greater coherence, more solidity, they are better understood in all their significance. 

You have left here everything about Cuban that you have inside, about good Cuban, about the poet, about town. 

Listening to your album I have the strong impression of listening to a profession of faith, to someone who tells us what are the things that he considers most sacred. I am not referring to the obvious, to what you believe in and guide you, but to a much broader "religiosity," which makes friendship, memory, love, flavor and smell of food, musical instruments sacred, the stimulating spirits of tobacco, coffee, brandy and ... even that "cas" of very hidden meaning!

I don't know if that would be your intention, but the album sounds like this. You have matured a lot in interpretation and all the criollísimo sonority that you achieved by accompanying you by that excellent septet (that trumpet, that three and those leathers play like the angels!) Bring a tremendous expressive unity to the disc.

I thank you, my black man, for giving me the privilege of being the first to hear it. I think that Santiago, all Cuba and all the good people in these worlds will thank you very much for this very genuine and tasty album. How not!

We'll see you here, on your return, or there if I could jump. 

A hug, 

Noel Nicola

P.S. Say hello to my many common friends. Keep me a little of everything good there! Don't take it all!


  1. Yemaya 4'10
  2. You already know 5'00
  3. To Santiago 5'07
  4. Cubanness 4'10
  5. The casserole 3'45
  6. I learned it 5'06
  7. I will be guided by you 4'18
  8. Sowing for you 3'40
  9. Trovada Matamorina 2'40
  10. Transmitting love 2'23
  11. open that jasmine 5'07

All songs composed by Alberto Tosca

Production: Alberto Tosca/Rolando Ferrer Rosado

Musical Direction: Rolando Ferrer Rosado

Recording and mixing: Ing. Ismael Torres García

Recording assistant: Hamlet Domínguez

Photography: Humberto Padrón

Graphic design: Tomás Miña

SIBONEY Recording Studios, EGREM, Santiago de Cuba, 1999

(P) EGREM, 1999

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