CITY OF MEXICO (apro) .- The youngest of the “old men” who played “Chan Chan” and “Tula’s room” with Ry Cooder for the Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC) film and 1998 Grammy award-winning CD , Eliades Ochoa, talks about his return to Mexico: “As the greatest sonero Cuba has ever sung, Beny Moré, Mexico and Cuba are sister nations to laugh and dance. Furthermore, we Cubans greatly admire the Mexican people and their music ”. Ochoa returns for a concert at the Metropólitan Theater on January 29 presenting a new record track alongside Pablo Milanés, “As the cloud is imposed on the sun”, by Agustín Lara.
he was born on June 22, 1946 into a family of musicians and since 1978 he joined the Cuarteto Patria, whose foundation dates back to the 1930s. “When I was a child I bounced shoes, passed the hat, sold newspapers and learned to play the guitar at the age of six from my parents. I began to work in the campesino program as a professional musician, then in cultural dissemination because the state paid the musicians… Alive very comfortable playing and singing I live well. “He has affirmed that” one of the greatest privileges of my life has been directing and producing the documentary Eliades Ochoa de Cuba y para el mundo. Currently he is accompanied by Marcos Antonio Fernández on piano, Eglis Ochoa Hidalgo on choirs and maracas, José Ángel Martínez on bass, Raony Sánchez and Reinaldo Orestes on trumpets and Jorge Naturell Romero on percussions. Since 1998 he told this reporter that he was not attracted to any other country to settle: “He would not change Santiago for any city that I have visited and see that your country fascinates me. I do not change rhythms or country, I am the same peasant with the same peasant vein in my singing and way of playing the guitar. I have no reason to leave Cuba. “—How do you see the Latin American future In this 21st century? —From the musical point of view it could not be better, because the politician looks very worrying. The tomorrow of traditional music and Latin American music in general is bright; but music is music of Anywhere and if you like rock and roll, that’s fine, everyone has their audience. But if you like traditional Cuban son music, all the better, as it shows that your aesthetic taste is. “For the music I make there are no distances, languages or borders, there is none of that. I am a Jíbaro who lives proudly because the theaters dismiss me standing up, and I owe that to the fact that I have never stopped making traditional Cuban music. Cuban son is the main dish of my restaurant ”.
From trova to the world
On another visit nine years ago, the troubadour addressed issues related to his early trade as a peasant sonero. “It must be recognized that the CD and the film by Wim Wenders Buena Vista Social Club spread and promoted our image to the world, despite the fact that there are things about the film that I don’t like, such as the fact that it has shown very ugly streets and houses in Havana. They are only one side of reality, because we know that we have deficiencies, but also many beautiful things in Cuba ”. And his partner Grisell Sande: “In all the island’s provinces, many art schools have been created that children attend from an early age, and they are linked to normal schools; for example, it is the case of our daughter Evorita, who although she is studying industrial engineering, she took the guitar for four years in an elementary school in Havana. “For the love of her, Eliades has composed several songs, such as” Thank you very much “,” Grisell “and” Un bolero para ti “. Historian, musicologist and researcher graduated from the Universidad de Oriente, she is the one who during decades of marriage has collected in her house in Santiago de Cuba the guitars, photos and memories of the troubadour’s career. Together presented in Madrid the memoirs of his authorship: Eliades Ochoa, de la trova para el mundo, a biography with a prologue by Silvio Rodríguez that portrays the fruit of 18 years dedicated to studying Cuban music and supporting his life partner. The singer of “El Cuarto de Tula” and creator of “Rap de la gallina o el egg” reiterates: “Cuba is a musical island, in any corner there is someone playing rumba, dancing, or a bohemian performing boleros and guarachas. There you know that the glass, the guitars and the mulattos go together ”. In Cuba “we can have shortcomings”, Grisell tends, “but we are an educated people who are prepared and assimilate knowledge through their educational system, because education is provided equally to all Cubans.”
With “The Lion of Cameroon”
“The Cub Africa recording that the Cuarteto Patria did in 1996 with Manu Dibango and what has been happening today with our artistic strength from Sonora, was thanks to the BVSC project, which opened the door to the