Most people know what is arguably the most famous Cuban song ever written, but do they know the composer?
The song is Guantanamera, and the composer was Joseito Fernandez. Ask just about any Cuban and they will not only know the verses, but most consider that the song represents the spirit of Cubans everywhere.
The book was written by Victor Perez-Galdos Ortiz and was officially launched at the Cuban Association of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) in Havana in celebration of the day of Cuban Culture.
According to UNEAC, the book covers the life and works of Fernadez, including the story of Guantanamera, the epic song that he penned in the late 1920’s.
Perez-Galdos Ortiz also recieved his honorary doctorate for his work on this book, and musicologist and educator María Teresa Linares praised the book. She also gave a nod to how the song, and now hopefully the composer, has transcended generations.
Fernadez was born in Havana on September 5, 1908 and he died there on October 11, 1979. It is a little funny that Fernadez, a city boy, wrote the song about a country girl in Guantanamo, but it wouldn’t be the first time that city folk write lovingly about life in the country. A whole sub-genre of Cuban son, guaracha, was created doing just that.
Hopefully I can get a copy of the book, but I think it is only available in Cuba at the moment. If anyone finds where to get a copy, please let me know. I know that EGREM sells things on Amazon, so maybe this will show up as well.
As always, comments are appreciated.