Ricardo Aguirre

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Ricardo Aguirre
Ricardo Aguirre González.jpg
Background information
Also known as El Monumental
Born (1939-05-09)May 9, 1939
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Died November 8, 1969(1969-11-08) (aged 30)
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Genres Gaita Zuliana
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, composer, director
Years active 1958–1969
Associated acts Cardenales del Éxito

Ricardo José Aguirre González, (Maracaibo, 9 May 1939 – 8 November 1969), was a Venezuelan folk musician and Gaita zuliana singer and composer. He was known as the Monumental de la Gaita by Octavio Urdaneta (Gaita Monumental) or "El padre de la gaita" (The Father of Gaita) and composed the popular song "La grey zuliana".[1]



His parents were Luisángel Aguirre and Ida Cira Gonzalez. He began his elementary education at a small private school, then continued to study in two public schools. His secondary education was interrupted by political turmoil caused by popular pressure against the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez. After the dictatorship ended in 1958,Gonzalez moved to the town of Rubio in the border state of Táchira, as a schoolteacher. He then attended Gervasio Rubio high school. After receiving a degree as a teacher at age 19, he taught at the Monseñor Francisco A. Granadillo school, while serving as an announcer on the radio station La Voz de la Fe.[2]

Musical career[edit]

While he was studying to become a teacher, he learned to play the guitar, piano, and other instruments, outcropping his composer vein in the genre of gaita zuliana. He became a member of different musical groups, and performed in musicals and theatrical plays. He began by being director of the gaita zuliana groups Los Sabrosos y Santa Canoíta. In 1962, he initially joined the group named Cardenales with his three brothers Alves, Rixio and Renato. After a division within the group, Ricardo Aguirre proposed an addition to the name and the suggestion was accepted, consequently naming the group Los Cardenales del Éxito, the name which the group still uses today.[3]

In 1967, due to differences among members, Gonzalez left and joined the group Saladillo, where he composed the song, "La Grey Zuliana". Aguirre stayed and recorded for two years (1967 and 1968) with the group. He later returned to Los Cardenales del Éxito where he recorded another album.


Statue in honor of Ricardo Aguirre in Maracaibo

His musical career ended abruptly on November 8, 1969, when he was killed in a vehicular accident in Maracaibo.[3][4] On November 4, 1983 the then-Governor of Zulia State, Humberto Fernández Auvert, issued a decree officially declaring November 8 as El Día de los Gaiteros in memory of the singer.[3] He had four children who later formed the group Dinastía Aguirre.[5]

Origin of his artistic name[edit]

Lawyer Octavio Urdaneta, who was a friend of the artist, on one occasion decided to call Aguirre "The Monumental" without much thought. Later, Aguirre was called that to justify his quality performance as a singer and musician, someone with a powerful voice and simple personality.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carroll, Robert Thomas (2013). "Feeling Zulian through Gaita: Singing Regional Identity in Maracaibo, Venezuela" (PDF). University of Washington. 
  2. ^ "Ricardo Aguirre, Hermano Monumental". nuestragaita.com (in Spanish). Héctor "pomponio" Márquez. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "RICARDO AGUIRRE, EL MONUMENTAL" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 24, 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Diario Panorama (2011-11-30), Murió en choque Ricardo Aguirre, El Monumental de la Gaita, retrieved 2017-01-31 
  5. ^ Camero, José Gregorio (2016-11-08). "Se conmemora 47 años de la muerte Ricardo Aguirre | PrimeraEmision.com - Guárico.". PrimeraEmision.com - Guárico. (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-01-31.