Santo Domingo.- Pablo Milanés left Tuesday morning on a tour of immortality.
One of the three musketeers of Nueva Trova died after losing the battle against cancer in Madrid where he had received treatment. He was 79 years old.
A statement on the artist’s Instagram account confirmed what the Cuban media had already published at the end of Monday night on this side of the Atlantic (early Tuesday morning in Spain).
“With great pain and sadness, we regret to inform you that the teacher Pablo Milanés has passed away this morning of November 22 in Madrid. We are deeply grateful for all the expressions of affection and support, to all his family and friends, in these difficult times. May he rest in the love and peace that he has always transmitted. He will remain forever in our memory.
The artist who went around the world as a cultural ambassador of the Cuban Revolution lived in Madrid where he received medical attention since 2017 for the oncohematological disease that affected him in recent years.
Milanés founded, together with Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola, the movement that would spread throughout the world, influencing many emerging artists.
In the 1960s he was in various groups, including the Cuarteto del Rey, where he composed his first song in 1963, Tú, mi desengaño, and in 1964, at the age of 21, he joined the Los Bucaneros quartet as an interpreter, to later try your luck as an occasional soloist, diversifying your proposal.
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A year later, he released “Mis 22 años”, an album in which he included new musical and vocal elements that would be precursors of the Cuban music that would come later.
Among their incalculable musical successes, during their more than six decades of career, they include hymns such as Yolanda, To live, I stay, Life is worth nothing, The brief space in which you are not and I love this island.
Throughout his career, his influence earned him record tributes such as “Dear Pablo”, a tribute performed by his great friends, including Víctor Manuel, Ana Belén, Luis Eduardo Aute and Mercedes Sosa.
In 2002, a second tribute album was released with the same title, but in reverse: “Pablo querido”, in which Ricardo Arjona, Gal Costa, Fito Páez, Juan Formell and Los Van Van, Charly García and Tania Libertad, among others.
Seventeen years later, in 2019, a good handful of artists got together to sing Pablo Milanés, among them Fher (vocalist of Maná), Marco Antonio Muñiz and Armando Manzanero.
He recorded about 40 solo albums, plus fifteen works with the ICAIC Sound Experimentation Group (GESI), and a large number of works on collective albums and collaborations with other artists.
Milanés supported the Cuban Revolution of 1959 during the first years of Fidel Castro’s government, but faced many inconveniences with the authorities, due to his expressions and his estrangement began when he was punished with compulsory labor for his afro hair.
Since then, he began to incorporate politics into his songs, in collaboration with Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola (deceased), who were considered creators of Nueva Trova Cubana, a musical style with guitar and evocative lyrics.
He reached the position of deputy of the National Assembly of Popular Power in the 1990s, but later moved away from politics.
In 2007 he was awarded the Latin Grammy in the category of Best Singer-Songwriter Album for “Como un campo de maíz” and Best Traditional Tropical Album for “AM/PM Líneas Paralelas” an album he released with Puerto Rican Andy Montañez.
In 2015 the Latin Recording Academy presented him with the Award for Musical Excellence for his contributions to music.
In Cuba, he received the Alejo Carpentier medal in 1982, the National Music Award in 2005, and the Haydée Santamaría medal in 2007 from Casa de las Américas for his contributions to Latin American culture.
It is recalled that at the beginning of November the concert that he would offer at the Eduardo Brito National Theater in Santo Domingo was suspended for the second time, due to his hospitalization.
“The teacher Pablo Milanés has left. A nice memory of Serrat and Pablo on stage”, Joan Manuel Serrat posted on Instagram with a photo together with Milanés, Luis Eduardo Aute, Víctor Manuel and Silvio Rodríguez.
“Cuban culture in mourning and every person on the planet who has been touched by the magic of her voice. Thank you Pablo for so much!”, read on the Facebook page of the Failde Orchestra.
“Don’t fly so high that I can’t reach you dear friend-brother-accomplice. I thank you for having coincided with you in this parenthesis of life. Words are too many for someone like you who raise words on wings of music, songs that stay with you. Thank you for so much Pablo…”, the Dominican singer-songwriter José Antonio Rodríguez expressed on his Instagram account.
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“We lost a voice that made us dream dreams of love and justice. That she made us sing and think about what we sang. Pablo Milanés left us. Peace to his soul! I fire him with my favorite song: “How much I won, how much I lost…”