Celia Cruz and her relationship with Cuba

“Celia in Cuba: 1925–1962”, a new biography

Madrid (EFE) gave. The country of origin notwithstanding the “official gap”, as claimed by a biography which is about to emerge.

For its author, the distinguished linguist in Cuban music Rosa Marquetti, the reasons for writing it were clear: “The way he spoke of his relationship with Cuba and at the same time, there were huge gaps in official history. For a number of reasons that are revealed in the book, Celia refrained from talking about those years, but they are most important, as this was where it was created.

Titled “Celia in Cuba: 1925–1962”, it follows the chronological development from year to year, to see how her career progresses and the expansion of her presence in other countries from her youth as a teacher student. Happens, “one of the few careers in which a poor black man could study in Cuba”, highlights the author, also a Cuban and an Afro-descendant.

“I have extraordinary sympathy for her as a singer and as a woman. If you look at what she achieved, where she came from and where she reached, you cannot help but admire her”, she Before verbalizing the other great reasons for the creation of this story, she highlights this: “It bothered me that everyone who wrote about Celia Cruz was men and not Cubans, so the look is different”.

For Marquetti, which highlights the role played by the artist’s mother, and especially her aunt, the story is “a journey of black African-descendant families in Cuba from poverty to their children to validate their talents and find a way to recognition.” struggle for”. .

The author disregards anecdotes in favor of facts and finds them in the “rich and varied press” that existed before the Cuban Revolution, as well as in direct evidence, that is, those who knew him at the time, such as Whether Irma Penalvar, who became his dressmaker, or Santiago Alfonso, a distinguished choreographer who defended cabaret in the performing arts in Cuba, is the place where Cruz began to mold himself.

“Everyone who knew him agreed on his character. They speak of his simplicity, his determination and discipline. His motives were very clear,” he summarizes about the icon who died on 16 July 2003.

He has also been able to visit two essential documentary archives, the Celia Cruz Legacy Project, based in Miami, which sent him an infinity of documents (passports, correspondence with managers, with the president of the label for which he was recording . .. ), and the largest collection of Afro-Latin music from the world, in the music library of Gladys Palmera in El Escorial (Madrid) in Madrid.

Rosa Marquetti had access to practically all of the albums recorded by Celia Cruz, even the greatest rarities, such as those together with Mercedes Valdés proving that she was the first to record Yoruba music in the world. Was the first. Celia Cruz left Cuba on July 15, 1960.