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The unforgettable singer and Cuban composer Compay Second it continues among us
Born on November 18, 1907 in Siboney, Santiago de Cuba, his true name was Maximo Francisco Repilado Muñoz. His beginnings were in the guitar, although he also played the clarinet, the bongo, and the tumbadora drum; but the instrument that always accompanied him was the armonico, a guitarlike instrument of seven strings he created, a mixture of the Spanish guitar and the Tres guitar.
He was clarinetist for different bands like The Municipal Band of Santiago de Cuba and that of Havana. In year 1935 he traveled for the second time to the capital, this time with Ñico Saquito and his Cuban Star to stay for good. He also participated in the quartets Cubanacan and Hatuey as well as in the ensemble Matamoros, where he had the chance to know and work with other talented Cuban musician, Benny Moré.
Two years later, together with Lorenzo Hierrezuelo, he created the duet Los Compadres, where Hierrezuelo was the leading voice and Repilado the second, hence his alias Compay Second, with which he was known ever since. He worked with this duet for six years.  

During the 80’s he created the group Compay Segundo y sus muchachos, with which he traveled to several countries and attained international fame, but it was not until 1994 when he was requested by the European public. In 1997 a Grammy won with the group Buena Vista Social Club, also integrated by other excellent Cuban musicians; with them in that same year he recorded a disk and a movie.  

Compay was worthy of Felix Varela order in year 1996, top distinction granted by the Cuban Ministry of Culture, was declared, Illustrious Son of the city of Nice in Italy and invited by Pope John Paul the Second to sing in the Vatican.

This man who had so much love for life could not fulfill the dream of turning more than a hundred years, like his grandmother, but he left a huge musical legacy that will certainly last for centuries.

(Cubasi Translation)

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