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Articles Olga Rivero. Foto: Tomada de Musicuba.

There was always a before: Olga Rivero

In the Cuban media (except for a few exceptions) we have been suffering from what we could define as a myth fever, by calling it in some way to a certain tendency that has enthroned the oblivion of singers, groups, arrangers and composers, unable to preserve -by some strange design- that fragile patina that preserves their memory turning them into emblematic figures of the culture of all time.

His sudden disappearance of the scenarios, at certain moments in history, caused his banishment to that limbo or no man's land, invariably accompanied by an unappealable sentence: they left. Although it is worth noting that not a few of those who remained on the island would also be included in that unfavorable status, extended to history written hereinafter. This excessive mythification has distorted the natural approach to the history of music and its protagonists, its genesis being repeatedly simplified with the establishment of an exclusive 'star system' that nothing would have to envy Hollywood itself. Sustaining rigid structures, dating facts and musical phenomena with immovable character and astronomical accuracy, many theories have been repeated to satiety in the same number of publications.

In this way the texts of true research professionals have coexisted with other elements, wisely defined by the endearing Manuel Villar as repeaters, and that another friend - no less dear - would baptize wisely as Muslims, referring to certain school musicologists. The thesis that there was always a before was established with his usual lucidity by the teacher Leonardo Acosta in the book: Another vision of Cuban music. Following these guidelines, and understanding music as a living fact, in constant transformation, it is not difficult to intuit the logical connection of the songs of José Antonio Méndez, César Portillo de la Luz, Rosendo Ruiz (son), Ñico Rojas, or Jorge Mazón , among other creative guitarists, with those of the authors who, in the late thirties and early forties, released harmonies, melodies and texts: Augusto Tariche , René Touzet , Julio Gutiérrez, Juan Bruno Terraza, Mario Fernández Porta, Bobby Collazo, Isolina Carrillo, belonging to an important movement of pianists-composers (phenomenon that should be addressed in greater detail and depth).

Before them, at the beginning of the thirties, Julio Brito and Nilo Menéndez offered decisive works such as and Mira que eres linda y Aquellos ojos verdes, respectively. According to these elements, it is impossible to uproot the feeling of that evolutionary channel, commonly influenced by geographically close cultures. Mexican rancheras and bolero, as well as American jazz (particularly swing and bebop ), conquered the Cuban musical taste of the early forties. However, what gave the authors of the feeling an exceptional quality was their approach to the guitar from the experimental perspective of self-education. Conceptually unprejudiced - having no theoretical-musical knowledge - they incorporated different harmonic chords and paths in their works, coming to release a novel way to execute the instrument (in the specific case of José Antonio y César) using only the thumb. Not for pleasure, the most successful works of the great Niño Rivera (as Ñico Rojas claimed ) were the ones he produced intuitively before performing musical studies. Many composers departed from the schemes of their time.

Among them Justo Fuentes (murdered in full youth for his political thoughts), Cristóbal Doval, Ernesto Duarte, Pepé Delgado, Eduardo Ferrer, and Ñico Cevedo. The same would happen in the field of interpretation with Bobby Williams, Francisco Fellove Valdés, Dandy Crawford, Pepe Reyes, Reinaldo Henríquez, Miguel de Gonzalo, Germán Piferrer, Freddy, or Doris de la Torre. From these authors, it is worth selecting the pianist Pepé Delgado, also a notable arranger. Among his most celebrated boleros highlights: Cosas del alma. With the arrangement of Niño Rivera, the voice of a great Cuban singer comes to us, including in the enigmatic limbo of those who left: Olga Rivero.

(Tomando del perfil de Facebook del autor)

René Espí More posts

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