Pupy will Always Play!

Pupy will Always Play!
Fecha de publicación: 
18 July 2022
Imagen principal: 

With the death last Sunday in Havana of César “Pupy” Pedroso, director of the Pupy y Los que Son, Son orchestra and National Music Prize winner, a generation of great masters of popular Cuban dance music bid him farewell somehow: the protagonists of the last great renewal of this huge heritage, those who defended a legacy enriching it with new sounds.


Pupy was one of the key referents of that cultural movement, which reaffirmed Cuba in a privileged spot in the musical panorama of the continent, despite the relative isolation to which political pressures condemned a good part of artists in this island.


Pianist, arranger, and composer, Pupy’s family was filled with musicians. And he did not weaken from that tradition.


He was a member of the groups Fascinación, Sensación, Revé and the Conjunto Bolero; before founding with Juan Formell, one of the most prestigious Cuban orchestras of all time: Los Van Van.


He was there, from 1969 until he decided to create, in 2001, his own band: Pupy y Los que Son, Son.


But his contributions from Los Van Van were extraordinary, undoubtedly head-to-head with the legendary Formell.


Just taking a quick review to the historical repertoire of the band to understand his imprint: Hoy se cumplen seis semanas, El buena gente, Eso está bueno, Disco Azúcar, La fruta, Ni bombones ni caramelos, Temba, tumba, timba y El negro está cocinando....


The creation of his orchestra did not mean a break with that history, but rather the reaffirmation of a very personal path: Pupy was a very unique creator, he needed his own platform.


And in fact, the orchestra immediately distinguished itself by its sonority. Puppy's brand. Pupy's swing.


He fed from the great national heritage (in fact, he "updated" many of the traditional rhythms) and gave them a very particular stamp. He is one of the fathers of that great phenomenon that was (and still is) Timba.


His lyrics were a chronicle of an era, in a very rich dialogue with popular humor. Many of his lyrics immediately integrated the colloquial norm of the Cuban.


He was a piano master, who interacted with the entire orchestral body, particularly with percussion.


Great figures of universal music assumed his repertoire. He traveled half the world with Los Van Van first and with his orchestra later. He recorded dozens of albums. He joined popular music ensembles. He was a respected teacher.


A phrase has become popular in Cuba: "You will know where Pupy is going to play." It’s an indicator of the great projection of César Pedroso in his town. Cuba has lost one of its most emblematic musicians. But actually Pupy's work has passed the test of transcendence. It’s music that identifies a country. Music that defines a town. Pupy will play always.

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