Musicians from Cuba and Puerto Rico are working on a new joint project to pay homage to Cuban singer-songwriter Miguel Matamoros and his trio ensemble.
In statements to Prensa Latina news agency, Jorge Felix Combet, director of the Cuban septet Ecos del Tivolí, said that since 2019, musicians from the two nations have been working on two homage-paying albums, compiling 30 of Matamoros’ best-known songs, as a tribute on occasion of the 95th anniversary of the music ensemble led by the renowned Cuban singer-songwriter.
Participating musicians in this project, under Bis Music label, include Gilberto Santa Rosa, Andy Montañéz, Danny Rivera, Edwin Colón and Eduardo Blanco from Puerto Rico, and Cubans Miriam Ramos, Mario Rivera, Haydee Milanés and El Indio –lead singer of Cuba’s Aragón orchestra.
The director of the Cuban septet ensemble Ecos del Tivolí, winners themselves, on two consecutive occasions in 2017 and 2018, of the coveted Cubadisco Music Awards –the most important international fair and contest of the Cuban music industry—said the first stage of the recording was completed in record time in the Eusebio Delfin Studios in Cienfuegos province and then in the Siboney Studios of Cuba’s EGREM record company in eastern Santiago de Cuba.
He stressed that the plan is to complete work on both albums as soon as the current epidemiological situation allows for it and have them ready to be presented during the next edition of Cubadisco Awards in 2021.
The Trío Matamoros was one of the most popular and influential Cuban groups of the 1920s and '30s. It was formed by Miguel Matamoros, Rafael Cueto, and Siro Rodríguez --all three singers and composers. They toured all Latin America and Europe and the United States.
The group revolutionized the sound of the small Cuban ensembles bringing a richer, more complex style to both, the vocal and instrumental arrangements.
Their style of "bolero-son" -- mixed rich harmonies and melodies, as well as a stronger rhythm, into the traditional romanticism of the bolero ballads.
The group changed its size and sound many times over the years, either to try out new ideas or to adapt to newer trends; at various points Matamoros performed as a trio, a septet, an orchestra, or a conjunto.
Miguel Matamoros is considered one of the greatest and most prolific composers of Cuban son of all time. His first hit was "El que siembra su maíz" (He who sows his corn), followed by classics such as "Lágrimas negras" (Black tears) and "Son de la Loma".