Pachito Alonso, the son of a great artist who revolutionized Cuban popular music in the 1970's by creating the famous Pilón musical style and dance, has continued his father's legacy, and his band, Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini, is a favorite both locally and internationally.
Pachito Alonso so closely resembles his father that when I approached him to greet him and start our interview, I imagined that I had Pacho Alonso in front of me. It took me back to my teen years, when I used to dance to the songs of that great singer and his band, Los Bocucos. In an exclusive interview with Cubaplus, Pachito Alonso recalled the early years of his band, Los Kini Kini, which he created after his father passed away in 1982.
“Before that, I had been working with him as the director of his band.” “When he died, I decided to continue his work but create a new image. Thanks to my father's talent and what I learned from him, I was able to put together Los Kini Kini, which has its own unique sound, but with the roots and essence of Pacho Alonso,” he said. His father was his most important teacher, Pachito said: “Thanks to him, I was surrounded by great masters who had an immense influence on my career as a musician and artist. Those experiences have allowed me to develop my band in different ways, both as a dance band and as a band that plays concerts and shows.”
Looking back at Los Kini Kini's 30 years, Pachito, as his fans call him, said they involved a lot of work that produced many artistic achievements, including a number of awards, such as one from California State University at Long Beach and another from Chile's Viña del Mar International Song Festival.
The band has recorded albums for the Cuban labels EGREM and Colibrí, and for labels in Spain, France and other countries “Right now we are preparing a 30th anniversary album, 30 años con el tumbao (“30 years with el tumbao”), which we will release in January as a good way to start off 2013.” And to celebrate this important anniversary, Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini have scheduled a series of concerts in public plazas and theaters all over Cuba, with a grand finale at Havana's 5,0000-seat Karl Marx theater featuring two musicals, “Viva Cuba” and “Bésame Mucho,” both of which are directed by Pachito's daughter, Yolena Alonso.
“My band has gone through several stages, in which many talented Cuban singers and musicians have participated, and a lot of them now have their own bands. Now, with the addition of my two sons, Cristian and Rey, the band is doing really well, because they have injected freshness into our performances.”
“I see a very positive future for us, because we are going to keep working with the same enthusiasm and interest in offering our public more and better music every time. In the end, we work for them, and we owe them so much.”