Leyendas.COM: Concert, Music of the Golden Era
By: Nancy Lescaille, Photos: Luis Mario Gell
For those wanting to listen to Cuban music of the golden era, the 50´s of the past century, with some modern sparks, find out where the group Leyendas.COM is playing. In addition to listening to the music you will be able to see how it is produced and dance to it.
This very young group of experienced and popular musicians has created a new musical Cuban product with a high artistic level. Jazz, son, guaracha, chachachá, bolero, and songs of any popular genres are all played by this very talented band.
During the 50’s three formats made Cuban music popular and known worldwide: conjunto and charanga orchestras and jazz bands. In order to produce a more contemporary version an intermediate form of these was necessary. In order to achieve this changes were made; instruments were substituted and musical arrangements modified.
Leyendas.COM has been able to remain original and not repeat the tones of the 50’s, bringing that era to the present without compromising its essence. “This is our objective, to play original Cuban music with a touch of the present,” said Oscar Pedreira Bejerano, the director and trumpeter.
In the groups´s repertoire appear a number of pieces from big composers such as: Vereda tropical by Gonzalo Curiel; El cuarto de Tula by Sergio González Siaba; Veinte Años by María Teresa Vera and Quizás, quizás, quizás, a popular song written in 1947 by the Cuban composer Osvaldo Farrés.
Also on their playlist is Chan Chan y Sabroso by the legendary Compay Segundo, as well as the internationally known Guantanamera, the closing piece for their concerts.
The cluster of musicians that makes up Leyendas.COM begins with Jorge Boulet (piano and musical director), followed by Victor Manuel Pedreira (trumpet), Policarpo Tamayo (flute), Karen Páez Ulacia (kettledrum), Yordan Cuenca (percussion), Ricardo Muñoz Martínez (bass), Antonio Leal Rodríguez (trombonist), singers Eloy Pozo Meriño, Félix Baloy Valdés, Amparo Padrón Aguilera, Emilia Morales, and finally the soul of the group, representative Alina Beatriz Puig.
The music involved here is that of big personalities such as Baloy, a singer who has integrated the most significant national bands such as Revé, Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, Los Chuqui and Afro-Cuba All Stars. Also music by Policarpo Tamayo, the five key flautist, who has been a part of Neno González ´s Sensación, Ritmo Oriental; and Leal, with very important projects such as that of Benny Moré. Leal was one of the last of the trombonists who had this band when Moré was still alive.
Every Monday at Meliá Cohiba, Tuesdays at the National Hotel in Havana and at Plaza America in Varadero on Wednesdays and Fridays; these are some of the emblematic places to spend the night listening to the music of the golden era with this excellent group that is like no other yet like all others who play Cuban music.
The instrumentalists and soloists of Leyendas.COM open up their act to the public with A Puerto Padre me voy, a modernized rhythmic montuno by Emiliano Salvador. The concert then officially begins and goes on without pause for about two hours with the public applauding, singing and dancing.