Trova, Validation or Evocation?

Imagen tomada de jazzconexion.com

Image taken from jazzconnexion.com

The singer intones one of his old songs on the stage. The public presses closer, repeats the chorus, is moved to delirium. This week we’ve enjoyed one of the many festivals of trova music that have begun, this time, in Santa Clara province. With themes ranging from the romantic to the most contentious social issues, the event allows to to hear some happy new releases and other well-known compositions. Musical creation that had its golden age in the seventies, but that its now losing ground to more commercial and fast-paced melodic forms. Most young people don’t want to hear trova ballads with lyrics that speak of complaint or daily chronicles, they prefer to relax and enjoy themselves, to abandon reality, if only for one night. They go to the clubs to escape what is outside, not to be reminded of it. So those ideological tunes — alluding to the New Man or the society he will inhabit — have been thrown into the well of forgetfulness.

Despite the loss of popularity, there are still dozens of cultivators of the trova song tradition in Cuba. They sing for people who prefer to ponder daily life and its absurdities rather than run away to another dimension. There are also many of us who still shudder at the lyrics of Silvio Rodriguez, separated as we are from him by an abyss of political opinions, a ravine of philosophical positions. When it comes time to organize our musical — or literary — libraries, we’ve learned that the best idea is not to do it by party preference… if we don’t want to suffer the sad loss of numerous authors.

Beyond the quality of the chords and verses, a good part of the public seeks in trova ballads their ability to evoke past memories: a first love, a close dance, the difficult years, that day of the first kiss, or the concert where we met someone very special. They trigger memories, like Proust’s madeleine, but which enter through the ears rather than the palate. When the singer appears with his guitar in hand, he is, in reality, engaging us in an act of remembrance: taking us back to those times when we were so young, when Nueva Trova had not yet been totally faded by the acid of reality.

31 thoughts on “Trova, Validation or Evocation?

  1. Alan Gross pro democracy? Fascist like the rest of you. His pay was 549,000. Yoani will soon catch up. Needs t talk to Michael Parmly and Jonathan Farrar again. Or maybe the Germany friend who pays the several thousand a month to maintain generaciony. AND those doing the instant translations; are they the same ones who can not speak Spanish? Or are they, perhaps, in Maryland. Notice tha tin our so-called book, the person listed as editor did not include our response from Obama; wonder why? Saw Wikileaks I suppose. Did not mention your pay pal account either did she? Strange for such an up-right blogger. Yoani writes two or three paragraphs only because she is not capable of anything more. Wonder if she has ever been in a ‘cuban Post Office; I could show her a few where they have email and for a pittance. Yoani was totally destroyed by Salim Lamnia; showed how utterly shallow and a Batista supporter she is. And Luis Posada Carriles is just a misunderstood person promoting “democracy”. La Yuma character is as stupid as the film by the same name. You characters could not blog your way out of a wet paper bag because it would take far more brains than any of you have. Yoani is so pathetic she had t have her poor old spokesman try to answer someone who pointed out how simple minded she is.

  2. @ Helpo
    Thanx, I’m warned, and also informed, if ever I get into conversation.. Maybe I’ll have a t-shirt with “spies welcome” written on it, just joking.

  3. jennifer, you don’t have to worry about it, nothing is likely to happen to you even if you insult Fidel, Che, and their children, as most Cubans, even the spies, feel the same way. Many tourists make their feelings known about the government among other things.

    Yes, every hotel (and tourist agency, tour guides, etc) has spies, or people who are supposed to spy on you, but not many of them take their jobs seriously these days. You won’t know who they are and it really doesn’t matter. One spy let me know that I was being reported on, after I got to know him well after a few years. Many of these spies don’t believe what they’re doing, they just keep acting their part in order to keep their privileges. So I was reported as probably CIA (not kidding) because I was helping out some poor Cubans who hate Fidel and communism, even though none of them are dissidents. Other crimes I’ve committed include taking unofficial tours of hospitals with doctor friends, but that’s not too dangerous unless you start taking pictures. Or unless, like Alan Gross, you belong to a pro-democracy organization and are set up by Raul.

    But if you start meeting dissidents, or support a protest or other human rights activity, or just rent a car and get into an accident, then very bad things can still happen to you in Cuba.

    Something more likely to happen, if you’re single and gullible, is a Cuban will “fall in love” with you. Of course it happens, but usually it’s just a way of escaping from Cuba.

    Hope you have a good time.

  4. Hello

    I’ve just discovered this blog and Yoani Sánchez.

    Because I was searching about internet in my hotel where I will be coming in April as a European tourist for a wedding….

    Well, I wish to learn about what is going on below the simple tourist scene, so, I can now see that the internet is obviously limited, and expensive for Cubans and that it’s not easy to use social medias. I’ve read quite a bit of all the comments, and realize this hatred between patriots and reformists.

    Yoani is very courageous and should be wary of being arrested !

    Well just another question : are there spies in the hotels, ‘cos if I engage someone in conversation, how can I know if he is a spy ?

  5. You are right Help, the world has not worked this way. It is a shame.

    To be honest, some times I struggle with these argument, as we do not have democrat sort of american politicals in the UK where I am living, and I do not really understand this ‘some kind of pragmatic capitalism’ (?) and some of the points made to the discussion. Maybe I am a little naive but to me it always seem like underneath communism or something like it is a capitalism for someone, the someone in charge is making money. When I read these post I compare to what I know about Chairman Mao and his leadership – the manifesto of getting rid of nepotism and injustice further created it. The people were tricked with the 100 flowers to open their hearts and minds and were caught, and many other examples. Officials came and went with popularity, but Mao stayed until end. So why is so hard for some people to believe dictarship exist today in Cuba? And that they can have problems? What am I not getting?

  6. Fresita, I agree with you. All crimes should be investigated and judged equally no matter who commits them.

    But the world has never worked that way, there’s always some groups that get away with murder.

    These days those people shout slogans like “death to America” or “viva Che”
    It’s a free license to kill.

  7. Damir, you say:

    “~Why not be a true democrat and denounce ALL crimes, recognise ALL victims?~”

    I checked the link it did not work, so I cannot comment on what that said. But many countries are looking for reparation of some kind for crimes against them. Khymer rouge, some of the criminals there are still loose, showing the cameras that they took peoples final pictures with for tourism monies (no link, was in a book). North Korea, and the concentration camps seen in aerial pictures. There are many countries with many causes, why cannot the cubans have their own cause? It is lucky for someone like me perhaps who is as free as can be, and I can look to internet and information, I can read and make decision, and I can sponsor charity like amnesty to support people who need outside help to shift oppression. Hopefully one day all crimes will be denounced, we are trying but there are so many.

  8. And more laughs from the copy and paste genius.

    Post 19:

    DEFAMATION/INNUENDO AND CHISMOSOS BRIGADE IS HERE

    Now you are stealling even my own material!!!

    Such a sad and poor loser… Just patologically INCAPABLE of writing something of your own. Something personal, original…

    Copy and paste.

    That’s ALL we can expect from the grey power of supoort brigade pioneers.

    Pathetic, just like the traitors of the team “yoani”.

    I wonder if s/he work out that s/he herself said s/he is NOT a Cuban but a Spaniard?

    All my money is on

    NOT YET.

    And never will…

  9. Like the post 13…

    The poster’s own her: hitler.

    Add to that batista, forrest gump, osama and his brother obama (Kain and Abel of today…).

  10. For a more ballanced view on horrors of our present, here are some facts reported by your own huffington post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..58953.html

    Why not talk about all the millions of individuals, absolutely innocent, killed or tortured by your “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”?

    Why not be a true democrat and denounce ALL crimes, recognise ALL victims?

    Ah, but who has ever said anything about the real and true “democracy”..?

    Yours is just a farce and a delusional brainwash for the masses.

    Only hypocrites ignore the victims, the horrors and the crimes of their own side.

    Hallo the team “yoani” and their little chihuahas barking mad around here and spitting their irrational hatred for everything Cuban.

  11. Maybe when the president of Iran executes gays, it fills Raul with nostalgia for the days when he and Che went around executing gays and anyone else they felt like killing?

    Freud, I’m afraid the number of undocumented killings will never be know. A lot of the killings after the revolution, when revolutionary mobs lynched people who didn’t support Fidel, were recorded as accidental or death by natural causes.

  12. I wonder what Mariela Castro has to say about her Papa laying out the red carpet for his buddy the Nazi president of Iran, who enjoys executing gays, “loose” women, and anyone else with questionable sexual or ideological beliefs.

    The dingbats who post here remind me of the old time communists who had to support Hitler for two years because Stalin told them to. Not an independent thought in their heads.

  13. Un Hun said: ” The moral of the story is you guys are the other face of the same coin served humanity Cuba… Both corrupt both violent both…lying”

    OF COURSE, THE DEFAMATION/INNUENDO AND CHISMOSOS BRIGADE IS HERE TO DEFAME THE FORT HOLDERS TOO LIKE FREUD, HELP, HANK, JOHN, KIM AND OF COURSE YOUR TRULY EL CYBERGUEZ@! JE JE JE! THEY DONT REALIZE THEY WILL ALWAYS HIT A BRICK WALL! ALWAYS! GUESS THEIR JOBS AS ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND CLAREVOYANTS IN CUBA DOESNT PAY ENOUGH SO THIS, THEIR SIDE JOB THEY DO TO MAKE SOME PESOS THAT THEY THEN NEED TO CONVERT TO CUC’s IN ORDER TO BUY ANYTHING IN CUBA AT ASTRONOMICALLY HIGH PRICES! JE JE JE!

  14. Jack Sprat said: “Yoani Sanchez has read Proust? Tell us more. I will bet she has never read anything but People Magazine, hoping she can make the front cover as she does for fascist magazines and her American creators. American Idol T.V. can create a star out of nothing simply by subterfuge, just as the Americans can when they want to create a spokesperson that is totally to empty headed to even realize how see is being made a puppet, but like the people on American Idol or in People, she is willing to be the prostitute if paid enough, and if she could not get a real job.”

    THE DEFAMATION/INNUENDO AND CHISMOSOS BRIGADE IS HERE TO DO A JOB ON YOANI! GOOD SIGN THOUGH, IT MEANS THAT LA FLACA IS SO IMPORTANT THAT THEY ARE ATTEMPTING ANOTHER OF THEIR CAMPAIGNS! BUT THAT IS WHY I AND OTHERS ARE HERE, TO HOLD THE FORT! IF SHE IS SUCH A THREAT WHY NOT PUT HER ON T.V. ON A DEBATE WITH MARIELA CASTRO? THEY WONT BECAUSE SHE TOUCHES ON WHAT ALL CUBANS ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT AND SHE IS BRIGHT AS THE SUN! JE JE JE!

  15. 15Jack Sprat

    Enero 11th, 2012 at 13:13
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Please, let aside this childish game of “Killing the messager”…….. have you, instead, something to say about the message of Yoani??????……..

  16. 14UnSoricel

    Enero 11th, 2012 at 11:56
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    For you, sleepless commies, nothing in history is true as long is not written by other sleepless commie…… the facts are there, the witnesses, the data available in records and the memories of relatives, surviving victims, and victimizers that decided to tell the truth……. no one cares about what you believes or not….. anyway……. for those that believes is not necessary any prove and for those that not believe is not enough any proves.
    But, to better know the racist, classist and criminal nature of the coward child assassin che guevara there is not better source than his hand written dairy, “Notas de Viaje” (Notes about the Travel), same source that Hollywood commies used to make the faked history film about this assassin “Motorcycle diaries” (of course, commies jumped over these details):

    Waiting for a ferry to travel from Chile to Pascua Islands he wrote: “Pascua Islands……. for women there is a honor to have a white man, you don’t have to work there, your women do everything and you just eat, sleep and keep them happy….”
    In same dairy he wrote about black people making a comparison between black and white people in the following terms: “Negroes, they could manage to keep them as a pure race thanks to the hate they profess to the bath……..”
    In same dairy he wrote the following about black people and European: “Negroes are lazy and dreamers, they spend their poor salaries in getting drunk while Europeans has a tradition of work and saving that push them to progress in any corner of America they settles.”
    Hilda Gadea, che’s first wife wrote the following in her book “Memories of che guevara:” February 18, 1957. Farmer Eutimio Guerra, a collaborator of Castro’s guerrilla, was suspected of being a traitor and the guerrilla decided to kill him. The problem was that no one was sure of Guerra’s betrayal and no one dared to kill him, then che came forward and killed the farmer shooting him in the head. Days later he wrote to his father “I have to confess you, dad, that after killing this guy I found that I like to kill.”
    Marcos Bravo, head of urban side of M-26-7 wrote in his book ” Che’s other face”” “A child-recruit of Batista army were captured and “judged” by che. The boy explained he had been recruited to training and he only had been in practices as any young recruit uses to do. Anyway che decided to kill him. The child asked vehemently for his life explaining he was his family only sustain and he sent the few money he receive monthly to his mom. Che anyway proceeded to kill him and the child cried “Don’t kill me, please, don’t kill me” and che answered “Why not????” and killed the boy.”
    My comment #13 was originally written by ex political prisoner Pierre San Martin, one of the eyewitnesses of the killing by che of this child whose only crime was to defiant him.

  17. Yoani Sanchez has read Proust? Tell us more. I will bet she has never read anything but People Magazine, hoping she can make the front cover as she does for fascist magazines and her American creators. American Idol T.V. can create a star out of nothing simply by subterfuge, just as the Americans can when they want to create a spokesperson that is totally to empty headed to even realize how see is being made a puppet, but like the people on American Idol or in People, she is willing to be the prostitute if paid enough, and if she could not get a real job.

  18. Freud …. What wouldn’t you give for that to be true!???… Yet you very well know it is manufactured and one can see the stitch in the details that are but aren’t there…. It is the same as the partyline stitch on so many other things about Cuba…. The moral of the story is you guys are the other face of the same coin served humanity Cuba… Both corrupt both violent both…lying….

  19. Cuba Libre’s hero:

    Che. The Assassin.

    December 1959; in a dark and cold cell 16 political prisoners tried to sleep on the floor, 16 more remain standing to make place so the others could sleep. This exercise of solidarity was in vain anyway because no one could sleep; our only concern at this time was to survive, to survive a day, an hour, a minute.
    Suddenly the cell door was open and another person was pushed violently in the cell. Our new cellmate was a child, 12 or 14 years old, no more. After the initial surprise all the men in the cell surrounded the kid and asked him almost in a choir “Why are you here?”…… “What have you done?”
    Bleeding profusely out the mouth and head and with black rings around his eyes and ears the boy told us: “I tried to protect my father, I tried to avoid them to kill him but I couldn’t – say the boy while crying – those son-of-a-bitches murdered him.”
    We remained in silence looking at each other trying to find words to console the boy but some kind of words doesn’t exist. Our own problems were too hard. Three days has passed without summary executions, with each passed day enhances the hope of this entire nightmare comes to an end. Executions are terrible, it take your life when more you need it for you self and your family; it not takes in account your protests and desires to live.
    Our hope lasted not too long. The door was open again and 10 of us were called out, among them the boy.
    How was it possible to take the life of a child in such way? Were we wrong maybe and they would put us free?
    We climbed up to the window to see if they took the prisoners to the execution squad or not. Near the fire squad walking slowly with the hands on his heaps was the abominable Che Guevara. He gave the order to bring the boy to him. It seemed he found no one with the guts to kill the child and the horrible task would be done by himself. Guevara commanded the child to get on his knees while we and other prisoners in other cells yelled on him not to commit such a crime. Much of the prisoners offered Guevara to take them to the fire squad instead of the boy.
    The boy remained standing and said to Guevara: “You want to kill me? Then kill me but I will not get on my knees, I am not a coward”. The infamous Che walked around the boy and once at his back said: “So you are a valiant kid” and taking out his pistol shoot the boy in the neck. The shoot separated the head of the boy of his body and a pond of blood flooded the soil for a moment before the dry terrain sucked it thirty.
    All prisoners were furiously yelling: “You assassin, you coward, you miserable and many other offenses I can repeat here. Guevara turned on the windows where we were and discharged the whole magazine of his pistol on us. I don’t know how many people he killed or hurt this day but I met several of us in the Hospital Calixto Garcia where we were sent after the barbaric deed.

  20. 4Cuba libre

    Enero 10th, 2012 at 20:56
    I think I`ll do some copying and posting myself. A tribute to one of the greatest and bravest heroes of our century.

    how much more traditional musically can you get?, everywhere you go in Cuba his deeds are acclaimed by everyone.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I remember a “season in the farm” (school children sent by regime to work in the fields every year for 1 and half months) this ridiculous clown Carlos Puebla making a “tour” across all facilities where we was located and singing his stupid songs. The guy was so hated and boring that practically sang just for himself because children preferred to spend the time in the watering system channels or stealing horses to get some rides for fun. It was very known that children in a facility called “El Briche” made him and his “musicians” run for his life under a potatoes rain. After that political police took charge of the “tour” and children were made to attend the “concerts” by force and teachers too.

  21. Cuba Libre (Mr. Mentirita) said: “Take a guess at where the History Chanel hails from and who funds it. Need I say anymore.”

    YES! Mr. Mentirita, YOU NEED TO SAY MORE! LIKE WHAT IS YOUR POINT AND WHERE IS YOUR PROOF! WITH LINKS!

  22. Cuba Libre (Mr. Mentirita)! I KNOW YOU GOT A CRUSH ON ME BUT I DONT GO FOR FASCIST BOOTLICKERS! FROM MY ARCHIVES!

    216 DOCUMENTED VICTIMS OF CHÉ GUEVARA IN CUBA: 1957 TO 1959 From Armando M. Lago, Ph.D.´s – Cuba: The Human Cost of Social Revolution

    COPY AND PASTE LINK TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE TO SEE THE FULL DOCUMENT!

    http://www.cubaarchive.org/downloads/CA08.pdf

  23. Cuba libre: you engage in what is commonly referred to as revisionist history. Be very careful. There’s an expression in Spanish, “El que quiere comer con el diablo necesita una cuchara muy larga.” Since you’ve been to Cuba many times, you should understand these words. It is a nasty undertaking you attempt. As Help points out, exposing your hero Che is akin to exposing Hitler, so not much space will be taken here by me to do that.

  24. Humberto (el ciber rata)
    Take a guess at where the History Chanel hails from and who funds it. Need I say anymore. And for your information I read all of Jon Anderson`s biography of “El Che”. I suggest you do the same because his view od “el Commandante” is quite different from the picture you and the other blind eyed anti-castrists depict of him. And his biography is based solely on facts which he got from several people who knew “El Che”. He went straight to the people who lived the revolution to get his information and didn`t base his biography on American backed and sponsored filth propaganda.I suggest the (ciber raton) come out of his hole and look around at the real world.

  25. Cuba Libre, fascists can be good musicians. Check out some of the nazi anthems, very catchy.

    Humberto, exposing Che is like exposing Hitler, the people who worship them aren’t interested in facts.

    I know he executed unarmed civilians, but did Che ever engage in a battle before he got to Bolivia?

  26. SINCE Cuba Libre (Mr. Mentirita)IS DOING HIS “TRIBUTE” TO THE MURDEROUS CHE! I WILL DO MY “EXPOSE” OF HIS TRUE NATURE!

    THE TRUE STORY OF CHE GUEVARA- The History Channel presentation:

    From his famous motorcycle trips to his historic role in the Cuban Revolution, Argentinean revolutionary Che Guevara is profiled in a documentary produced to explore the life of the man whose visage has become an iconic symbol of hard left politics.

    This man, who ordered the execution of countless human beings while in charge of the notorious La Cabaña prison in Havana, who terrorized Cuban society and who denied freedom to thousands of citizens whom he considered “deviants” or “anti-revolutionaries” can never be accepted as a hero, martyr or — the shock of it — a saint.

    Its a good documentary in the fact that it brings to light other people in the revolution, and it has this kind of new way of presenting the man, with lots of hard guitar in the background to make him seem “radical” i guess. Jon Anderson the author of one of the best bio’s on him is interviewed many times, also there are interviews with American soldiers who fought in the revolution,which is very interesting to get to see them. Overall it is one of the better documentaries.

    COPY AND PASTE LINK TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE TO SEE THE FULL DOCUMENTARY!

    topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-true-story-of-che-guevara/

  27. LA NUEVA CUBA : “Che Guevara: The Fish Die by the Mouth” – By Humberto (Bert) Corzo*- Columnist, Los Angeles California-January 14, 2009

    On December 11, 1964, during a debate in the United Nations General Assembly Che said: “As Marxists we have maintained that peaceful coexistence among nations does not include coexistence between exploiters and the exploited.” As representative of the Cuban government he was severely attacked because of the firing squad executions without any judicial process and evidence as required by the rule of law. Guevara, in his second intervention, making use of the right of replica, responded: “We must say here what is a well-known truth, which we have always expressed to the world: Shooting people yes, we have shoot people and will continuo to do so until it will be required. Our fight is a fight to the death”. [7] This demonstrates his intransigence with his political enemies; he was willing to make the blood run and wasn’t worried to carry millions of people to their death.

    In response to a question of Richard Hottelet of CBS in the program Face the Nation, New York, 14 of December of 1964, Che replied: “In America, the road to the liberation of the peoples, which will be the road of socialism, will march through the bullets in nearly all countries, and I can predict with confidence that you will be a witness.” Che, an advocate of political violence, failed once more.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ESSAY! FULL OF FOOTNOTES TOO!!’

    http://www.lanuevacuba.com/archivo2009/Ene/humberto-corzo-10.htm

  28. I think I`ll do some copying and posting myself. A tribute to one of the greatest and bravest heroes of our century.

    how much more traditional musically can you get?, everywhere you go in Cuba his deeds are acclaimed by everyone.

  29. Indeed from all my visits to Cuba I have seldom seen so many professional and talented musicians. Pedro Luis Ferrer is indeed a very good artist. And I am glad to see he chose Santa Clara for his show, home to the Mausoleum in remembrance of “El Che”. I am certain “Hasta Siempre Commandante” ranks the highest in his repertoire.

  30. EXCERPT FROM A GREAT INTERVIEW OF PEDRO LUIS FERRER ON MOTHER JONES.COM WORTH THE READ: Underground Man: An Interview With Pedro Luis Ferrer

    PEDRO LUIS FERRER: I was taught from childhood that the worst of the worst lived in Miami. The discourse of the Cuban Revolution always spoke out against racism and social marginalization, and at the same time degraded those citizens who did not share the established political creed as gusanos (worms). By that token, I who grew up in the cradle of the Revolution was ready to strike from the map those depreciable beings who obeyed the postulates of Miami—a cave only inhabited by batistianos [supporters of Batista] and torturers. For a long time, that was Miami to me. Certainly Miami was the spot chosen by those who killed and tortured multitudes of Cubans during Batista’s reign, but islanders who had nothing to do whatsoever with that history also ended up in Miami, and the ideology did not want to admit to diversity among the opposition. In reality, people who risked their lives for the Revolution of 1959 sought refuge in Miami, as well as people who believed in socialism—people who were sincere believers in internationalism and went to the war in Angola.
    Visiting Miami was very instructive for me. I went through a long, contradictory, complicated, and painful process to strip myself of the ideology that had made me a mortal enemy of those who thought differently politically. I can now say that I have friends there too, and I lament profoundly having been at one time a carrier of that discriminatory ideology which made many decent and honest people who now live in Miami suffer.

    COPY AND PASTE LINK TO BROWSER IF NOT ACTIVE FOR ENTIRE INTERVIEW!

    motherjones.com/media/2005/06/underground-man-interview-pedro-luis-ferrer

  31. PEDRO LUIS FERRER IS THE MAN IN THE PICTURE! ONE OF THE GREATEST TROVA ARTIST OF ALL TIME AND ONE WHO IS NOT AFRAID TO SAY THAT HE WAS WRONG! GOT TO ADMIRE THAT!

    VIMEO:DOCUMENTARY on Cuban Singer “Pedro Luis Ferrer- La Revolucion de un Hombre” (2008)

    Cuban troubadour Pedro Luís Ferrer is well known, and well loved, on the island, but he hasn’t been blessed with the good fortune and official backing enjoyed by the Buena Vista Social Club musicians. Born seven years before Fidel Castro’s march into Havana, Ferrer has matured with the Cuban Revolution, confronting in the process its contradictions and limitations, and his own ambivalence about what it has wrought. Although he has released only three albums in Cuba in 35 years (and three others abroad), his witty, sardonic social commentary so irked the Castro regime that in the late 90s the government banned his music from the state-run media–which in Cuba means all media.

    Ostracized by the artistic establishment and many of his musical colleagues, Ferrer took his music underground, playing giving private concerts in friends’ homes, performances that were often recorded by fans and distributed illegally.

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