REMEMBER: César Portillo de la Luz

REMEMBER: César Portillo de la Luz
Fecha de publicación: 
11 November 2023
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César Portillo de la Luz was born on October 31, 1922, today he would have turned 101 years old. His compositions are considered almost the heritage of Cuban music for their excellence, good taste, the poetic language used, in addition to the harmony and melody of his songs, which are pure feeling.

He sang about love and the society he lived in, he founded – along with others like José Antonio Méndez, Ñico Rojas, and Elena Burke – the feeling, that genre that came from a movement influenced by the cultural era of the last years of the 40s in the 20th century, which fed from trova, jazz, bolero, literature and slowly gave way to intimacy and emotions.

He was an important Cuban composer and singer, who from a very young age sang and played the guitar empirically, and little by little he gained knowledge, polished his style and matured professionally to acquire his own musical label and be able to offer conferences and master classes both in Cuba as abroad.

César Portillo de la Luz stands out for his neat, careful work, with attention to the melodic aims. Many of his songs have been covered by prestigious, international artists like Nat King Cole, Luis Miguel, Plácido Domingo, Caetano Veloso, María Bethania, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

One of his most universal songs is Contigo en la distancia, composed in 1946 when he was only 24 years old. According to experts, this song marked the beginning of his professional life and helped shape his artistic personality. It’s a totally passionate lyric, pure lyric, filled with a balanced melody, in which we discovered César Portillo de la Luz in love.

Today, to remember him, we share with you one of the most acclaimed versions of it, performed by singer Luis Miguel, who included it in his album Romance, in 1991. Enjoy!

Contigo en la distancia

No existe un momento del día

en que pueda apartarme de ti,

el mundo parece distinto

cuando no estás junto a mí.

No hay bella melodía

en que no surjas tú;

ni yo quiero escucharla,

si no la escuchas tú.

Es que te has convertido

en parte de mi alma;

ya nada me consuela,

si no estás tú también.

Más allá de tus labios,

del sol y las estrellas,

contigo en la distancia,

amada mía, estoy.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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