José Manuel Jiménez Berroa

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José Manuel ("Lico") Jiménez Berroa (7 December 1851 – 15 January 1917) was a Cuban pianist and composer.

Early years[edit]

José Manuel Jiménez was born in Trinidad, Cuba, Las Villas province into a musical family. He was the son of Maria Andrea Berroa and violinist Jose Julian Jiménez and was baptized in 1852 at the Parochial Church of the Santísima Trinidad. His grandfather was Francisco Nicasio Jiménez, orchestra and band leader. Jiménez studied music as a child with his father and his aunt, Cuban musician and composer Catalina Berroa, and at the age of 15 was hired as an accompanist for a concert at Palacio Brunet by visiting German violinist Karl Werner.[1] At the recommendation of Werner, Jiménez traveled to Europe in 1867, where he studied piano with the Carl Armbrust in Hamburg, Carl Reinecke and Ignaz Moscheles at the Leipzig Conservatory[2] and in Paris with Antoine Marmontel.


After completing his studies, Jiménez toured as a concert pianist. With his father and brother Nicasio Jiménez, he formed one of the first all black ensembles, billed as "Das Negertrio",[3] and successfully toured in Europe, the Americas and in Cuba as a soloist and with the ensemble, playing mostly 19th-century Romantic compositions.[4]

Although successful in Europe, Jiménez found his music was less accepted in Cuba.[5] He toured the island and worked for a while as a music teacher in Trinidad, but in 1890 returned to Germany and settled in Hamburg, where he became active at the Weimar court. He was befriended by Franz Liszt, and became a director of the Hamburg Conservatory of Music.[6] He was the first Cuban composer to work with the lied form.[7] Jiménez married a German woman in 1899, Emma Filter,[8] and had children Manuela, Adolfo and Andrea. He died in Hamburg.[9]


Selected works include:

  • Elegía
  • Solitude
  • Valse Caprise
  • Rhapsodia Cubana
  • Murmullo del céfiro[10]
  • Polonesa
  • Aragonesa
  • Infiel
  • Sufrimiento
  • Crepúsculo[7]
  • Five Songs for soprano or mezzo-soprano (1900)[11]


  1. ^ "Efemérides de Cuba y el Mundo". Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  2. ^ Orovio, Helio (2004). Cuban music from A to Z. p. 116.
  3. ^ Hamilton, Ruth Simms (2007). Routes of passage: rethinking the African diaspora: Volume 1, Part 1.
  4. ^ Wright, Josephine (1981). Das Negertrio Jimenez in Europe. The Black Perspective in Music, Foundation for Research in the Afro-American Creative Arts. JSTOR 1214195.
  5. ^ Carpentier, Alejo (2001). Music in Cuba (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  6. ^ Lougheed, Vivien (2006). Adventure Guide Cuba. p. 315.
  7. ^ a b "Afro Cubans All Stars". Retrieved 27 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "José Manuel Berroa". Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  9. ^ "A Brief Overview of Cuban Music". Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  10. ^ Orovio, Helio (2004). Cuban music from A to Z (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  11. ^ "Tres grandes virtuosos afrocubanos del siglo xix". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.