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Music of Santiago de Cuba


The passion of Santiago de Cuba for music dates back to the foundation of the city itself. At the early decade of the 40’s in the XVI century, the presbyter Miguel de Velazquez made the neighbors of Santiago listen to the celestial music that came from the music chapel of the cathedral, a chapel that years later will be turned into some type of conservatory by Esteban Salas. This is why he’s considered the Father of Cultural Cuban Music by some studious.

Since the first centuries of the colonization, the music from Spain and the music of the African slaves were linked: to the vihuelas and guitars joined the sound of the tambours and sonajas to create new sounds and rhythms. Even when the verified existence of the Son dates back to the end of the XIX century, many confirm that the Son de la Ma’Teodora was interpreted in Santiago de Cuba by the end of the XVI century, and that was the point of departure of a long musical evolution in the rural areas of eastern Cuba. Later, the son would invade the entire country to become the musical genre that represents the best the Cuban culture and idiosyncrasy.    

The trova doesn’t escape cultural blending since it comes from it. In the middle of the XIX century with Pepe Sanchez as a precursor and master emerges the Cuban trova. The trovador takes its guitar and sings to the woman, to the nation, to love. The lyrics of the traditional trova have a literary intention. Artists of the size of Ñico Saquito, Compay Segundo and Sindo Garay are among the most talented authors and singers.