Santiago de Cuba: Capital City of Cuban Trova Music

Featured Santiago de Cuba: Capital City of Cuban Trova Music

Soon, Santiago de Cuba city will be invested with the honor of being again the capital city of Cuban troubadour song. On March 18, the Pepe Sánchez National Trova Music Festival will be inaugurated. This event has been celebrated since 1964 and it is the most ancient musical one of the country.

Every March 19, the Troubadour’s Day is commemorated.  The traditional pilgrimage along the troubadours’ route will take place in the morning this day in Santa Ifigenia’s cemetery. The wreaths will be put by all-comers to the Troubadour’s event. First, it will be in front of José Marti’s mausoleum, where the mortal remains of our National Hero are kept. Later on, the pilgrimage will continue paying homage going through the troubadours’ route and placing wreaths on the tombs of other famous troubadours like Pepe Sánchez, Francisco Repilado, Pepe Bandera, Miguel Matamoros, Ñico Saquito and Ramón Ivonet. This year it will be also paid homage to musicologist Padilla Sánchez–Pepe Sánchez's grandson–as well as to Eva Griñan, Santiago's Golden Voice, and to Reinaldo Creah, recently deceased.

On the 19th, one of the most outstanding activities of this Festival will take place: the inauguration of the artists' collective exhibition Todos a una mano por los 500 de la ciudad (All together for the 500th anniversary of the city).

On March 20, it will be the opening of the Coloquio de la música cubana (Cuban Music Colloquium) especially dedicated to the verse that will have the performance of Las Bayamesas duo. Besides, a photographic exhibition about troubadours born in Santiago de Cuba city will be inaugurated, by photographer Pepe Cárdenas. Later on, musicologists and researchers on Cuban troubadour music will talk about several themes related with music. That same day in the afternoon, it will be presented the book La trova y el bolero. Apuntes para la historia. During the colloquium two documentary films will be exhibited: Trío Matamoros and Victrola mía.

Moreover, during the Pepe Sánchez National Trova Music Festival will be brought to memory the centennial of the beautiful lyric composition, the song Pensamiento, composed by Rafael Gómez Mayea “Teofilito” and the 90 years old of the Matamoros Trio, founded by Miguel Matamoros, Siro Rodríguez and Rafael Cueto, on May 25, 1925.

Several public presentations by groups and interpreters of Cuban trova music will take place in different plazas, working places, and other areas in Santiago de Cuba during these days, also at Casa de la Trova Pepe Sánchez on Heredia Street, where outstanding groups from Santiago de Cuba, Sancti Spíritus and other cities of the country will perform.

 It is also planned the presentation of the theatrical group La Guerilla with the play El pájaro (The bird), with Virgilio Piñera’s text and music by Rubén Lester.

Translation: Mercedes Carballo (Cubarte)

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