The Flight of the hummingbird wings
By: Pedro de la Hoz
When only three years ago, the Cuban Institute of Music and the Phonographic National Office wanted to create its own record seal, as alternative for the promotion of certain areas in the creation and interpretation not always privileged by the market, they turned their heads to a specie of the Islands fauna, sung by the traditional trova movement, of modest and delicate expression: Colibrí (hummingbird).
Metaphorically speaking it can be said today that the seal Colibrí has grown strong wings that have flown him far past the boundaries of the Island and made its presence noticed in the current season of record launchings which began a week ago with the MIDEM in Cannes and it was followed by meetings with Italian music distributors resided in this city which works as axis of European circuits. Gloria Ochoa, director of the seal, and Marta Bonet, producer, gave testimonies here of the interest generated by records as Cuban Serenade, played by the pianist Ulises Hernández and the declaimer Luis Carbonell; Homo ludens, of Leo Brouwer, and the complete series of piano and orchestra concerts of the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Cuban serenade contains the recording of little known pieces in the catalogue of Ignacio Cervantes, among them the Melopeas, dances conceived next to literary features of traditional character, an entire discovery materialized from the collaboration of Colibrí with the National Museum of Music of Havana. The product is supported by a digital video with the concert that with those pieces was offered in the convent Saint Francis of Assisi, facsimile reproduction of the scores, and lectures of the musicologists Clara Díaz and Ana Victoria Casanova and a very special one offered by the great Alejo Carpentier about Cervantes for the program of appearances he had in Radio Habana Cuba.
Particularly in the Italian market Leo Brouwer has a legion of followers who know quite well his extraordinary contribution to the contemporary guitar, but that who havent had the opportunity, just like the one Colibrí offers, of purchasing to his chamber repertoire, indispensable to assess the links between cultural identity and formal experimentation.
In the collection Roldán, the seal has put emphasis in the registration of the patrimony and the contemporary creation of the Island, so that memory of the work of the National Choir of Cuba, under the direction of maestro Digna Guerra, of the compositions of Roberto Valera and Jorge López Marín and the performance of the Camerata Romeu, the director Guido López Gavilán and the Duo Promúsica, just to mention some examples.
However for the seal executives the most encouraging aspect is there in the avidity with which licensing proposals of already recorded disks are received, or in the ways of production, of young figures of Cuban jazz.
Pianists like Alejandro Vargas, Dayramir, Harold López Nussa, and Rolando Luna, trumpet players like Carlos Sarduy, vibraphonists like Tamara Castañeda and other outstanding values over the last years in the competitions JoJazz.
According to the Milanese music critic Roberto Spighi, the area of Colibrís catalogue "the young spirit of Cuban jazz could become, in little time and with a coherent promotion, in such an attractive and overwhelming event as it have been the salsa orchestras and the phenomenon of the Buenavista Social Club."