Alexander Abreu: singer from Pueblo Grifo
By Roxana Consuegra, Photos: courtesy of Alexander Abreu
Not many know that the real beginnings of Alexander Abreu within the universal language, music, were as a singer. While he began studying as a trumpeter at 10 years old, he had already begun singing in his native city of Cienfuegos, in the choral group “Los chicuelos del mar”. At only 11 years old he joined this group directed by teacher Rosa Campo, who he remembers as an incredible woman. Regarding what this person represents for his professional career, the artist commented that she was with whom he really learned to sing, he leaned towards composing, and her teachings are the basis for his current work.
Precisely his passion for the creation of lyrics and melodies is what is demonstrated in the salsa musician’s current endeavor, immersed in the process of producing the fifth CD with his orchestra Havana D’Primera. Pueblo Grifo is the name of this record programmed for release in summer 2021. It contains 10 songs written by him, including the title track dedicated to his homeland.
Meanwhile, Abreu is working on another album for the end of the current year. Será que se acabó promises to be an album of various great hits from popular dance music of the 80s and 90s of the last decade. It will be made up of 12 reinterpretations marked with the aesthetics and sound characteristic of Havana D’Primera, in a musical co-production of the Unicornio label and Estudios Abdala with Páfata Production.
The CD will be a homage to the songs of that era by important salsa musicians, such as José Luis Cortés, Juan Formell, Issac Delgado, Mario Rivera, Adalberto Álvarez and Giraldo Piloto, among others.
It is the case that Alexander Abreu had another significant faculty of teachers. For just over seven years he was trumpetist for La Élite orchestra that accompanied the popular singer Paulito FG, under the direction of maestro Juan Manuel Ceruto. This, without doubt, was also an important element in his training as a salsa musician, and significantly entrenched in him the popular genre of danceable music.
Later he decided to create his own orchestra, with the challenge of converting it into a solid grouping with all the elements necessary so as to accompany great figures who wanted to record their history.
In any case, life gave him new possibilities to move on another track and these have placed him in a privileged place within the groups which represent popular dance music in Cuba.
On what it means to lead a group of such magnitude, he commented:
“Popularity took work, it is difficult to get to the public but I always try to find the way to be me and communicate this through my songs. It’s a complex responsibility, but the audience and the people deserve everything, because I was born there and from there came my achievements that have taken me to where I am today. For example, Me dicen Cuba is a song that represents everything for me. For all singers there are songs that mark them out, but there is always one which passes into history and Me dicen Cuba was made with a lot of love for the land where we live.”
“My compositions always aim to be positive and full of strength and energy to be able to transcend and that my music in some years can be listened to and inspire new talent. I always hold the conviction of communicating optimistic messages, provide learning and lessons of life.” It is because of this that Alexander Abreu is a singer of the people, of Pueblo Grifo, legendary, mythological...he sings to the creole, the ordinary Cuban, the African gods, a mixture of traditions and Cuban flavor.