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Ñico Rojas

Guitarist and composer Ñico Rojas was the top exponent from the Cuban filin motion, which fused traditional bolero rhythms with American jazz harmonies and melodies to reinvent the island’s music culture. Blessed José Antonio Rojas Beoto in Havana on August 3, 1921, he was the kid of the architect and therefore encouraged to go after his curiosity about the arts, getting his first electric guitar at age group 13. Rojas’ curiosity about formal musical schooling demonstrated negligible, nevertheless, but while learning civil anatomist at the School of Havana he came back to your guitar, teaching himself to try out and befriending the band of aspiring composers with whom he co-founded the filin (“sense”) motion in 1942. Independently and collaboratively, the filin group created some music — including “Mi Ayer,” “Ahora Si Sé Que Te Quiero,” and “Se Consciente” — afterwards recorded by performers such as for example Pepe Reyes, Orlando Vallejo, and Miguelito Valdés. Despite stimulating his compatriots to pursue professions in music, Rojas himself even so took employment being a hydraulic engineer, relocating to close by Matanzas and developing lots of the area’s bridges and viaducts, like the Via Blanca highway bridge that links Havana as well as the visitor vacation resort of Varadero. Rojas continuing composing, nevertheless, citing Matanzas and his developing family because the motivation behind the a lot more than 50 instrumentals he had written during the past due ’40s and early ’50s — his tracks were later included in acts which range from Omara Portuondo to Pablo Milanés. With executive remaining his major vocational concentrate, Rojas didn’t record his 1st record, the EGREM label discharge Suite Cubana Em fun??o de Guitarra, until 1964. Generally, his profile being a musician was limited by annual recitals on the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana, which demonstrated first of all to his prodigious improvisational abilities, drawing on affects spanning from traditional Cuban strains like trova and rhumba in addition to traditional composers like Chopin. After retiring from his anatomist position, Rojas skilled a fresh burst of innovative energy, and through the middle-’80s he constructed an abundance of new materials, capped off with the acclaimed collection “Homenaje al Filin.” His stature also grew because of renewed curiosity about his pre-revolutionary initiatives, with addresses from abilities as different as Jane Bunnett and Frank Emilio Flynn. Arthritis limited Rojas’ abilities during his last years, however in 1998 he flew to NEW YORK to execute alongside Flynn, Buena Vista Public Membership bassist Orlando “Cachaito” López, and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis for the performance on the famous Lincoln Middle. During an appearance on the Havana International Electric guitar Celebration in 2000, Rojas befriended youthful guitarist Ahmed Dickinson Cárdenas, who transcribed near three dozen of Rojas’ traditional songs upon finding the aging master cannot examine music — the transcriptions later on formed the foundation from the Cubafilm LP Ahmed Dickinson Takes on Ñico Rojas, released just months ahead of Rojas’ loss of life on November 22, 2008.

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