Benny Moré, the Fantastic Rhythm
By Fabiana Matamoros
Bartolomé Maximiliano Moré Gutiérrez (1919-1963), better known as Benny Moré, nicknamed Fantastic Rhythm and Greatest Cuban Sonero, was a Cuban singer and composer, born in the province of Cienfuegos.
In addition to an innate musical sense, he was endowed with a fluent tenor voice that colored and phrased the songs with great expressiveness.
Moré was a master in all genres of Cuban music, but he particularly excelled in mountain son, mambo, guaracha, and bolero. Among his most recognized songs are Good and tasty, Today as yesterday and Santa Isabel de las Lajas, recorded indistinctly with his orchestra La Banda Gigante, or in collaboration with other musicians of his time.
Such is his stature in Cuban art and culture, that there are many spaces in which he is remembered. Some bear his name, others are decorated with images of his musical performances, and others bring together the style and elegance of that Cienfuegos man.
His imprint has inspired creators of the visual arts such as the Cuban sculptor José Villa Soberón, who immortalized his figure in 2004 with the life-scale bronze statue, which was located on the Paseo del Prado in the City of Cienfuegos. It has such an exquisite finish that El Benny would seem like another passerby of the aforementioned walk.>
He also appears as a character in the novel The island of infinite love (La isla de los amores infinitos) (Grijalbo 2006), by Cuban writer Daína Chaviano. In 2006, the film El Benny, which is a fiction movie about Moré's life, was released, directed by Cuban filmmaker Jorge Luis Sánchez and starring Renny Arozarena and music played by Los Van Van, Chucho Valdés and the Orishas group, among others.