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Raúl Alberto Antonio Gieco (Argentina, 1951), universally known as León Gieco, is one of the big names of rock in Argentina.

This popular singer-songwriter is characterized by mixing the genre with his country’s folk traditions and for tackling, from fusion, social issues, in favour of human rights and solidarity with the deprived sectors of society.

His piece Solo le pido a Dios (I Just Ask God) has travelled around the world in the voice of different interpreters, from Spaniard Ana Belén to his fellow countrywoman Mercedes Sosa, who died recently.

He came to Havana on the occasion of the Film Festival not to sing his popular songs like he has done in the past with Fito Páez at Revolution Square.

Now he came with his documentary Mundo Alas, selected for the non-official section of the 31st International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema.
The piece, the direction of which he shares with another two producers, is his first experience as a filmmaker and it already accumulates prizes from festivals held in Ecuador; Barcelona and Pamplona in Spain; Toronto, Canada; and Malmo, Sweden.

At the Taganana Hall of Havana’s Hotel Nacional de Cuba, the Festival’s venue, he spoke with Cubanow:

CN. - Any comments about this new encounter with Cuba?

LG. - It has been 15 years since I wanted to come to the film festival. A few times I travelled to Varadero beach, performed

at Havana’s Karl Marx Theatre or at Revolution Square. Now I returned with the documentary that was selected by Cuba screened in the Festival outside competition, it is Mundo Alas.

CN. - What can you tell us about your music career?

LG. - Approximately a year ago I recorded a DVD entitled 15 años de mí (15 years of myself), which includes all the videos from that time. Then I edited a triple disk called Por partida triple (Three times over) and later on, a rock -almost punk- CD (he smiles).

CN. - And what are you working on at the moment?
LG. - I’m preparing CD number 46th of my career, which is 40% finished, so that’s all I can say.

CN.- Are you still a rock artist?

LG.- Yes, because it allows me to perform everything. Rock is a wild singing that can be combined with other styles -not rock as music but as a way of life. To be a rocker is simply to be opened. It’s a universal and permanent genre.

CN.- What has been Argentina’s contribution to rock?

LG.- It has contributed age and quality in songs.

CN.- What do you think about the chacarera (South American folk dance) rock song Yo vengo a darte mi corazón; the tango rock theme Giros, by Fito; the symphony rock of Charly García in Yo necesito tu amor; or the religious rock piece Solo le pido a Dios?

LG.- They mark nothing else but Argentinean diversity. In my country we find all cultures from the world –the Spanish, the Italian, the German, and the Indian.

CN. - What can you say about Che Guevara?

LG. - What would the world be without Che Guevara? Without Che, the world would be deprived of references to good things –incredible, Che!-; reference to love, Revolution and unity. Some people say that death made him famous and it’s not that way. If Che were alive, he would be a great ecological fighter. He would be again at the centre of the fundamental debates of our time.
When Argentineans arrive to Cuba, Cubans tell them “¡Ah! You’re Argentinean, like Che Guevara”. It’s the reference and also the mystery that finishes sowing the edges of the world.

In my next CD there will be a song by my keyboardist, based on a poem by Che. I intend to show the poet in the guerrilla.

There are people who criticize formal aspects of his poetry, and for me there’s no greatest poet than a revolutionary. I think Che was a great poet.

Source: Cubanow 

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