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Cuban entertainers: Pablo Milanés

Pablo Milanés was born in Bayamo, Cuba on February 24, 1943. He is one of the founders of the Cuban nueva trova, along with Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola. His music, originating in the Trova, Son and other traditional styles of early 20th Century Cuban music set him apart. Pablo Milanés, widely known as Pablito, moved with his family to Havana in 1950.

he became part in 1969 of the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora, a seminal group of young musicians, many of them would go to be the founding members of the Nueva Trova, which started as a movement with a concert of Pablo, Silvio Rodriguez and Noel Nicola in February 18, 1968.

Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez, and their colleagues at the national film institute pioneered the “protest music” that ultimately came to be called nueva trova. They consciously used traditional poetic structures, local instruments, and distinctively Latin American musical idioms as symbols of their resistance against the cultural and economic influence of North America and Europe. Most of their music was disseminated through live performance, avoiding involvement with the highly manipulative music industry, dominated by North America.

Nueva trova solidified not only as a musical genre but also as a political movement by the late 1960s. Two monumental song festivals attested to the popularity and the power of the music. The first of these, the International Protest Song Meeting or Encuentra Internacional de la Canción Protesta, held in Havana in 1967, drew participants from more than 15 countries and led to the government’s establishment of a Protest Song Centre or Centro de la Canción Protesta at the Casa de las Américas.

Since his first recording, Simple verses of José Martí or Versos Sencillos de Jose Marti in 1973, he has issued more than 40 solo records, and many more in collaboration with other artists, both Cuban and from Spain and other Latin American countries.

Pablo Milanés continues to tour internationally. On his Last performance, he opened the Mexico's Sinaloa Culture Festival on Wednesday October 14th.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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