25 years of Buena Vista Social Club, the album that rescued from oblivion to the Cuban legends

"If I take off my hat, it seems that I have taken off my clothes, I feel strange without Him," says Elossa by Zoom from Havana, with his hat from Guajiro Call

25 years of Buena Vista Social Club, the album that rescued from oblivion to the Cuban legends

"If I take off my hat, it seems that I have taken off my clothes, I feel strange without Him," says Elossa by Zoom from Havana, with his hat from Guajiro Called to his eyebrows. It is something so linked to the character as that hybrid between guitar and three Cuban who he has stuck since child, when he was playing and passing the cap through the streets of Santiago de Cuba. His musical career, since the year 63 he took his first steps as a professional, has a milestone shared with some of the greatest Cuban musicians of the 20th century: Buena Vista Social Club, that album that in 1996 led to another dimension they are Cuban , selling eight million copies and winning a Grammy.

"I remember so many beautiful things that happened there ...", he recalls Ochoa. "We met a few artists, some of them had 25 or 30 years without touching or giving concerts, they had ruined or dedicated themselves to other things, I do not know a boy, it is of those things that happen and then never forget."

Now, when a quarter of a century is fulfilled and the album is reissued in vinyl format with plenty of additional material, the singer and guitarist recalls that the initial pretension of Nick Gold, Capo del Seal World Circuit, and the American musician and producer Ry Cooder, was to bring together Cuban artists with others from West Africa. "It's what I had committed myself to London with Nick, but Africans could not reach Havana for visa problems and then, with the help of Juan de Marcos, they began to look for other Cuban musicians. So they left Sumando Compaño, Ibrahim Ferrer, Cachao López, El Guajiro Mirabal, Omaara Portundo ... ".

Those forgotten legends of the Cuban musical tradition, masters of Guaracha, Bolero and El Son, spent seven days in the famous Areito studies delivered to the purest spontaneity. "They had told me that I had to sing the carretero and the tula room, but being there, with Ibrahim Ferrer next door, I said," I remember Young Woman Singing Ay Candela, Candela, I'll burn ... 'And you remember that, M'iijo?', He asked me surprised. I also remembered on the way to La Vereda and we started playing those two songs, when Nick entered and said: 'Test them well, that they are very Beautiful and are going to enter the album '. Thus things were happening. "

For the Cuban musician what makes that album so special is that "we did it with the same joy we had to be together again. The joy of that reunion penetrated the songs."

Of that experience, says Ochoa, "I took the seriousness as a lesson with which they worked, if it had to be at four o'clock in the studio, at three others were there: Compay Liando His Tabacos, Pius Leiva with his pure. .. See those people so old recording for hours and giving concerts in Amsterdam or New York ... they never said no! " They also did not say that not to participate in the documentary of the same name led by Wim Wenders who, after premiere in 1999, revived the popularity of the Buen Vista members. "Something year later I went to do a concert with my France Quartet and I found a huge sign with my photo hanging from the Eiffel Tower, and I, a humble man of peasant origin, I felt for some time as an ambassador of Cuban music around the world, "he says visibly excited.

ELIADES OCHO has been a year and a half, since the beginning of the pandemic, without being able to touch live, but he does not want to hear about a possible retirement. "I feel strong yet, wishing to make music anywhere in the world, in any scenario and at any time." At that time he has participated in recordings such as C. Tangana and his album at Madrid, in the same Studios Areito: "I knew that dying of Envy was going to be very accepted, for that wave that he has, that seems not to be He is interested in the world. He is such an intelligent boy ... I liked to see his seriousness at work, his desire to do and try new things. " Shortly after he says goodbye, without taking off his hat, of course.

Updated Date: 21 September 2021, 08:04

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