Pablo Milanés

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Pablo Milanés Arias (born in Bayamo, Cuba on February 24, 1943) is a Cuban singer-songwriter and guitar player. He studied at a conservatory in Havana. He is one of the founders of the Cuban nueva trova, along with Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola. His music, originating in the Trova, Son and other traditional styles of early 20th Century Cuban music set him apart from the raw style of Silvio Rodríguez.

Biography[edit]

Pablo Milanés, widely known as Pablito, moved with his family to Havana in 1950. He studied in the Conservatorio Municipal de La Habana, at the time the most prestigious musical school in the country. His first public performance was in 1956.[1] Since he was 15 years of age, he was active in "bohemian" musical circles in Havana, associated the so-called "filin" musicians.

Although he supported the Revolution since it came to power in 1959, he was rounded off and briefly incarcerated in 1966-67 in the Gulag-like UMAP with other "undesirable" people. After being rescued by the intervention of Leo Brouwer, he became part in 1969 of the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora, a seminal group of young musicians, many of them would go to be the founding members of the Nueva Trova, which started as a movement with a concert of Pablo, Silvio Rodriguez and Noel Nicola in February 18, 1968. Until the late 80's Nueva Trova was the unofficial musical style of the Cuban Revolution.

Since his first recording ("Versos Sencillos de Jose Marti" in 1973),[2] he has issued more than 40 solo records, and many more in collaboration with other artists, both Cuban and from Spain and other Latin American countries. However, his first record with original songs (the eponymous "Pablo Milanes") was not issued until 1976, despite having composed his first song in 1963.[3] The heyday of his creativity occurred probably in the early 80's, with his records "El Guerrero", "Yo me quedo", and "Comienzo y final de una verde mañana".

Within the context of the Nueva Trova, Pablo is widely considered one of the closest to the traditional roots of the traditional Cuban music, while being open to diverse musical influences from other contemporary traditions, such as Brazilian music and Blues. The range of his compositions goes from the dogmatic propaganda to inspired love songs, passing through musicalization of poems by Cuban writers, such as Jose Marti and Nicolas Guillen.

Since 2004 he has been living in Vigo, Spain with his Spanish wife and two sons.[4]

After relocating to Spain, Milanés, while fully supportive of the Cuban Revolution, has been publicly critical of some aspects of the Cuban regime. He took official positions but, lately, he has allegedly avoided participating in pro-government campaigns;.[5][6] On January 25, 2007, he signed a petition supporting Puerto Rico's independence from the United States of America .[7] He was a victim of Cuban repression and has spoken about the abuse and unjust incarceration of many (including himself) by the Cuban regime. Until this day he does not know why he was incarcerated (the first time, as the second was for protesting the first his and the one of many others) nor why he was sent to reeducation camps. His willingness to speak openly about the failures of the revolution created strain in his relations with Silvio Rodriguez.[8]

Discography[edit]

[citation needed]

  • 1973 - Versos sencillos de José Martí
  • 1975 - Canta a Nicolás Guillén
  • 1976 - La vida no vale nada
  • 1977 - No me pidas
  • 1979 - El huerrero
  • 1979 - Aniversarios
  • 1982 - Filin 1
  • 1982 - Acto de fe
  • 1983 - El pregón de las flores, with Lilia Vera
  • 1983 - Años 1, with Luis Peña
  • 1984 - Ao Vivo no Brasil
  • 1985 - Linda y Leo
  • 1985 - Comienzo y final de una verde mañana
  • 1986 - Años 2, with Luis Peña, Cotán
  • 1987 - Buenos días América
  • 1987 - Trovadores, with Armando Garzón
  • 1988 - Proposiciones
  • 1989 - Filin 2
  • 1989 - Filin 3
  • 1990 - Identidad
  • 1991 - Canto de la abuela
  • 1991 - Filin 4
  • 1991 - Filin 5
  • 1992 - Años 3, with Luis Peña, Cotán, Compay Segundo
  • 1993 - Querido Pablo
  • 1994 - Canta boleros en Tropicana
  • 1994 - Evolución
  • 1994 - Igual que ayer, con Caco Senante
  • 1994 - Orígenes
  • 1994 - Plegaria
  • 1995 - Si yo volviera a nacer, with María Felicia, José María Vitier
  • 1995 - En blanco y negro, con Víctor Manuel
  • 1997 - Despertar
  • 1998 - Vengo naciendo
  • 2000 - Días de gloria
  • 2000 - Live from New York City
  • 2002 - Pablo Querido
  • 2005 - Como un campo de maíz
  • 2005 - Líneas paralelas, with Andy Montañez
  • 2007 - Mas alla de todo (with Chucho Valdes)
  • 2008 - Regalo
  • 2008 - Feeling 6
  • 2008 - Raul y Pablo (with Raul Torres)
  • 2010 - Palacio Municipal de Congresos de Madrid (live DVD with Chucho Valdés)

References[edit]

External links[edit]