concerts/musicculture

“Esencia” by Pablo Milanés concert not to be missed at the CCB

The “trova nova” conductor, Pablo Milanés, one of the greatest treasures of the author’s song in Spanish, comes to Portugal to present Esencia, his latest show. Accompanied by Ivonne Téllez at the piano and Caridad R. Varona on the cello, the Cuban artist proposes a recital that will travel through his wide career spanning six decades.

Milanés was one of the renovators of the Cuban song and sailed through many waters, always revealing to be a restless artist, as attentive to tradition as open to experimentation and thanks to this highly creative stance he won the applause of international critics and audiences: he recorded new song and boleros, jazz and rumbas, son and so much more, bequeathing to history important works such as “El Breve Espacio, Para Vivir, Yolanda, Ya Ves” and so many others, synonymous with the refinement of an art that has brought with enormous success to all continents.

The concert will pass through these career milestones, but also through lesser-known gems, true gems of an immense discography that spans dozens of albums, the most recent of which, Amor, released together with his daughter, Haydée Milanés, in 2017.

Honoured with a Latin Grammy in 2005 and a Grammy for Musical Excellence in 2015, this troubadour has never ceased to challenge himself: he recorded an album of jazz standards in English and has been preparing to revisit some of his career milestones in salsa tones with some leading musicians of the genre, proof of the universal character of their art. More than enough material for an absolutely unmissable night.

Pablo Milanés | a Cuban singer and guitarist.

He started singing on radio stations when he was a child. At the age of six, he moved to Havana, where he continued his musical training. In the early 1960s, he began to compose from multiple influences, such as traditional Cuban music, North American music and Brazilian music.

Between 1965 and the end of 1967, he was detained in forced labour camps, run by the Military Production Aid Units in the Province of Camagüey, from where he fled and went to Havana, where he denounced the injustice that had been committed, which is why imprisoned for two months in the Fortress of “La Cabaña“.

In the early 1970s, he started to participate in the “Sound Experimentation Group“, together with important troubadours and musicians, directed by Frederico Smith and Leo Brouwer.

In 1974, he recorded his first album “Versos Sencillos“, in which he recorded musical versions of José Martí’s poems. And in 1975, he recorded an album with songs made from 11 poems by Nicolás Guillén.

In 1976, he recorded his first album with his own compositions “La vida no vale nada“. It was a work in line with the principles of the new Cuban “Trova” and “Nueva Canción” Latinoamericana, among the songs, “Yo pisaré las calles nuevamente“, which calls for the return of democracy to Chile, after the Military Coup of 1973 and “Canción por la Unidad Latinoamericana “.

In the early 1980s, he released the albums “Yo me quedo“, “El Guerrero“, “Comienzo y final de una verde mañana” and “Querido Pablo“, with the latter featuring the participation of Víctor Manuel, Chico Buarque , Mercedes Sosa and Luís Eduardo Aute.

In the 1990s, he released several albums, “Identidad“, “Canto de la abuela“, “Orígenes” and “Despertar“.

Also in that decade, he helped create a non-profit foundation for the development of Cuban culture, a project that helped give visibility to the work of many artists on the island. At the end of the decade, the album “Pablo Querido” was recorded, which was a tribute by other Hispanic and Latin American artists to Pablo Milanés, among them Joaquim Sabina, Fito Páez, Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, “Los Van Van “and the” Maná “group.

From 2005, he started to act in partnership with musicians such as Chucho Valdés, Pancho Céspedes, Andy Montañez and José Maria Vitier.

In 2006, he won the Grammy Award for best singer for the album “Como un campo de maíz“. And in 2015, he received a new Grammy Award for “Musical Excellence” and published his 50th album: “Renacimiento“, in which he rescued traditional Cuban rhythms, such as guaguancó and changüí, unusual in his repertoire.

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