Silvio Rodriguez celebrates 60th birthday concert bash
By MICHEL HERNANDEZ
Silvio Rodriguez, one of the icons of the Latin American political song, celebrated his 60th birthday along with a whole host of Cuban signer-song writers, friends and family.
Some 40 Cuban singers from all generations joined the beloved purveyor of nueva trova for two concerts entitled Te doy una cancion (I give you a song) at the Pablo de la Torriente Brau Center in Havana.
"We are gathered together to celebrate all these years of resistance. I would like to thank all the singer-song writers, those who learned my songs and those who didnt pay any attention to them," said Silvio in front of a multitude that filled the halls of the center.
Silvio Rodriguez spoke to Granma about the upcoming Todas las voces, todas (All Voices) concert organized by the Guayasamin Foundation to celebrate Cuban President Fidel Castros 80th anniversary, "I think it is a very nice idea. We will be there. I will take part in the concert along with other friends. It is a much deserved and honorable concert."
"Trova is like an endless river. People dont know when it started or where it ends. I think it is a tradition based on the culture of our people and as long as there is Cuba Im sure there will be trova," noted the author of such classics as La era esta pariendo un corazon and Playa Giron.
Vicente Feliu, Gerardo Alfonso, Charly Salgado, Duo Karma, Eduardo Sosa, Silvio Alejandro, Fernando Becquer, Lazaro Garcia, Marta Campos, Santiago Feliu, Pavel Poveda, Junior Navarrete and Frank Delgado, Erick Sanchez, Duo Cofradia, Diego Gutierrez, and Samuel Águila were among the singers that performed Silvios songs at the concert.
Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto was on hand for the concert. "Im really glad to be celebrating Silvios birthday in the voice of his artistic heirs," said Abel Prieto to Granma.
Regarding the activities prepared by the Guayasamin Foundation, the minister of Culture said: "I think that the event will be full of emotion, of affection towards Fidel, and of ideas and reasons. The colloquium is also an important event in which many interesting people will participate [...] to reflect on the work and philosophy of Fidel during his exceptional career."
Carlos Varela, another important representative of nueva trova performed En estos dias and told Granma, "After I saw a concert of Silvio and Pablo [Milanes], I decided I wanted to write songs. I think that a large part of my work would have not been possible if Silvio had not been there. He is a genius and a poet. Silvio is my muse."
Samuel Aguila, one of the latest generations of singer-songwriters, said, "Silvio taught me to understand the world in a different way through his songs. To me, he is a teacher." The young artist also spoke about the state of nueva trova today, "We are hardly being recorded. We are barely noticed by the Cuban media. We know that an album and a music video costs money, and singer-songwriters cant afford it. They hide themselves in their writing and in saying things to people, it doesnt matter if it is to four people or a thousand."
Eduardo Sosa closed the concert with the performance of the classic Te doy una cancion, which opened the door to all the performers to come on stage and join in a big sing-along of Vamos a andar, an anthem to poetry, freedom and the love of Silvios songs. After an overwhelming ovation, Silvio appeared on stage to sing one of his most beautiful songs, Y nada mas.