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Leo Brouwer in his everlasting spiral

Leo Brouwer, one of the crucial modern and lucid creators within the history of Cuban music, is celebrating today his 82 years with the satisfaction of getting forged a piece that distinguishes the culture of his country worldwide and that has promoted the event of creation on a global scale.

Brouwer, born in 1939 in Havana, has set unavoidable standards in Cuban music each for his work as a guitarist and composer and as a conductor. The musician showed signs that he can be consecrated in probably the most iconic planes of Cuban music since within the last a part of the Nineteen Fifties he gave shape to “Preludio en conga” and “Danza característica,” two works that may envision the composer he can be.

Countless pieces signed by Leo placed him on the forefront of his time and anticipated the various ways of interpreting the music that may come through the years. An example: Brouwer took charge of the ICAIC’s Grupo de Experimentación Sonora (GES) at the top of the Nineteen Sixties and summoned a gaggle of young musicians who, like him, were desperate to give shape to new sound concepts that finally expanded the culture of the country, although, on the time, they weren’t sufficiently valued.

Leo Brouwer. Photo: Kaloian.

In a time of volcanic changes in music and filled with sound experiments inside popular trends worldwide akin to rock, pop or folk rhythms, this group, born under the watchful eye of Alfredo Guevara, shared the rostrum from Cuba of one of the crucial revolutionary concepts of an era that may definitively mark universal culture.

Greater than five a long time because the founding of the GES, all of the work of Brouwer and the musicians gathered within the GES must be ranked of their exact place, especially this 12 months with the fiftieth anniversary of this collective advance of creators placed themselves on the forefront of the various areas by which they’d later begin to perform. Just to say a couple of names, there may be the work of Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez, Noel Nicola, Sara González or Eduardo Ramos.

Brouwer has all the time had the gift of versatility, of permanence. His work in cinema, amongst other manifestations, has been an important accompaniment in movies akin to Lucía, Cecilia, and Memories of Underdevelopment, whose soundtracks have been a number of the fundamental plots of movies that, like Brouwer’s work, relate memorable passages of Cuban history.

Photo: Kaloian.
Photo: Kaloian.

As a guitarist, composer and conductor he has been a musician whose mere mention equally arouses admiration and respect on the international circuit. In reality, due to his convening power, it has been in a position to bring to Havana outstanding names of universal sound creation who’ve performed for Cubans in the various versions of the Leo Brouwer Festival, an event that also attests to the social vocation of this Cuban, who has also change into an indefatigable cultural promoter in order that much of the music that goes unnoticed in probably the most homogeneous horizons of the industry are known on this country.

Photo: Kaloian.

On this sense, we must give attention to his interest in tearing apart the borders between classical and popular music, something that has been perceived from the very starting of his profession. Leo has never responded to the stereotypes through which some define a “classical musician,” but has applied himself thoroughly to bring these genres to nearly all of the general public, which has also contributed to his perception of culture as a universe of infinite possibilities.

Brouwer has all the time been open to inquiry with all of the rhythms that may contribute to music and has entered probably the most distant places where the sound identity of the country beats. Well remembered are the documentaries by which he shows his fondness for the contributions of the rumba to national culture and its international recognition.

Photo: Kaloian.

The seek for diversity has subsequently been certainly one of the objectives of this musician who can share a game of dominoes with friends in addition to start a passionate conversation with a follower of his work, who obviously number within the hundreds.

Quite a few are the recognitions he has received all around the planet. Brouwer has been a daily presence on the Grammy Awards and in recent days he was distinguished by the Latin Institute of Music (ILM) as a cultural ambassador, an award he shared in Havana with pianist Frank Fernández and Los Van Van.

The 82nd birthday of the creator of the suite “Decamerón Negro”, an obligatory reference work within the Cuban repertoire, shall be celebrated until Sunday with various actions aimed toward pondering his talent and his contributions to the Cuban and international sound scene.

But anyone who knows his rituals knows that the very best gift Leo will give himself on his birthday is to maintain fascinated about the work that’s to come back.

Michel Hernández, michel-hernandez

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