A century later with a repertoire of more than a thousand songs in the backpack group has a lineup of worthy heirs, young and old of those mythical pioneers.

Three of them are on the venerable eighty-year-old chariot also known as player Felipe current director of the septet due to the heartfelt way of performing his solos his companions.

This music is very enjoyable, gentleman explains the during an interview held in July in Havana pay homage to the group’s 100 years of life, Felipe and his “blacks” have just finished a double album with 27 songs.

That review the great hits of the Habanero and that they will present “as long as the damn pandemic allows”. “Nothing is easy in this life”, Valdés philosophizes, after remembering that a century ago “it was not easy either, since the consecration of the son cost his own thing”.

The great Cuban musicologist and poet Sigfredo Ariel, who for years interviewed the most veteran and wise soneros, recalled that in order to unravel the small skein of social prevention that existed around this genre, on more than one occasion the Septet ended its performances with fines and at the police station.

However, his style became so strong combining in a new way and harmony with deep yet catchy texts that from the beginning the group had supporters who got him out of trouble was the first group to appear on stage in full uniform.

They were full stop, everyone adored them. Even when the sound was frowned upon and the police persecuted those who played the bongo, the Septet always had powerful sponsors who took it out of the bivouac, the old men assured ”,

One of the most important and also Yo no tumbo cane or the melody of Manuel Corona Aurora, with the famous montuno added by the Habanero of corporal of the guard, I feel a shot”, which became as well known as the song.

The son was gaining space, the sextets and septets were consolidated and some that marked an era appeared such by Ignacio Piñeiro, or that of Alfredo.

But the Habanero was crucial to the success of the son and its internationalization they won an important national competition and several awards (in 1925 and 1926), and in 1929 the Habanero brought the son to Hollywood for the first time in the filming of Hell Harbor, directed by Henry King.

In the 1940s and 1950s as musical tastes changed and many groups included new instruments keyboard, tumbadora, güiro, various trumpets — so did the Habanero Little by little the Septet went out of fashion although it never disappeared.

By Vil Joe

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