Santiago de Cuba: the cradle of Son and Trova

Santiago de Cuba is undoubtedly an exceptional city, in which multiple values ​​are combined that allow the visitor to come into contact with the idiosyncrasy of its people, the culture and history of the place, while enjoying its exotic nature.

Santiago de Cuba’s passion for music dates from the very foundation of the city. In the In the 1540s, the priest Miguel de Velázquez urged citizens of Santiago to attend to the celestial music that came from the cathedral’s music chapel.

In the second half of the eighteenth century Esteban Salas would turn this chapel into a Conservatory, an act that it is considered by some scholars merits Salas recognition as the Father of Cuban Cult Music.

From the first centuries of colonization, music from Spain and that of African slaves interrelated: drums and rattles were joined to violins and guitars to create new sounds and rhythms.

Although the verified existence of the son begins in the 1890s, some musicologists claim that the Son de la Ma’Teodora was performed in Santiago de Cuba in the 1590s, and would have been the starting point of a long musical evolution in the rural areas of eastern Cuba. Whether this was the case or not, the son would, indeed, eventually invade the entire country to become the musical genre that best represents the Cuban culture and idiosyncrasy.

The troubadour takes his guitar and sings to a woman, to the country, or to love itself. Although they are inseparable, the texts of the songs of the traditional trova are literary, often more important than the melody itself. In the mid-nineteenth century the troubadour Pepe Sánchez emerged as a precursor and teacher of Cuban trova.

The Trio Matamoros was founded in Santiago de Cuba on May 8, 1925. In countless recordings this trio bequeathed a unique panorama of sones, boleros and other genres of popular music that reached popularity and influence in the most diverse social strata and spread almost on a planetary scale.

Similarly artists of the stature of Ñico Saquito, Compay Segundo and Sindo Garay became authors and performers of great talent and expressive strength.

Lab/ Taked from RHC

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