In the month of May, guitars will play in Cubadisco 2012, dedicated to guitars under the motto “Cuba, the island of strings.”
Since the arrival of Spanish colonizers we received these gifts: the vihuela, the mandolin, the lute, the treble guitar, the harp and the guitar, all easy to transport, brought by the soldiers who came with conquistador Diego Velazquez in his mission to occupy the island.
Guitars had traveled a long path: from distant Asia, they went to Persia, crossed the gulf, and entered in Europe with the Arabian invasion. Both, Spain and Cuba – after the colonial period – made guitars their own.
Cuba is a guitar power. It has a school and had an international contest which gave rise to a large group of talents. Many of them are professors, soloists or play in Cuban bands.
Heading this school there are names like the Nicola dynasty, Leo Brouwer, Jesus Ortega, Marta Cuervo, Guyun, Efrain Amador, Aldo Rodriguez. Also a National School of Art (ENA), 1962, a fruit of the Revolution, which is now arriving to its 50th anniversary.
Cubadisco started in 1997, fifteen years ago, with the support of the Cuban Musical Institute. The Organizing Committee is headed by Ciro Benemelis.
The first Cubadisco established the Guinness Record of “The Longest Son in the World”. For five uninterrupted days, thousands of musicians and hundreds of groups played. This was an actual “Musical Camerata” never before seen in Cuba or in America.
At the times there was a true musical revolution that the boom of salsa or timba had created in the nineties.
In this stage, Juan Formell (Los Van Van), Elio Reve, Adalberto Alvarez, Jose Luis Cortes (NG La Banda), David Calzado (La Charanga Habanera), Juan Carlos Alfonso (Dan Den), Orlando Valle (Yumuri), Lazaro Valdes (Bamboleo), Manolito Simonet (Trabuco) and a long list of bands shone, together with women’s bands: Anacaona, Las Chicas del Sol, Las Canelas, Azúcar, Fuego de Seda and others.
Cubadisco almost always starts with a “deluxe” symphonic concert, although most spectators prefer a party in Pabellon Cuba or in La Tropical, the best dance hall in America, where many recordings in Cuban musical history have had their starting point and many life concerts have been recorded
Translated by Gertrudis Ortega