Compay Segundo’s Boys

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) – Los Muchachos de Compay Segundo (Compay Segundo’s Boys) made a successful comeback to international stages at the Terre di Confine Music and Art Festival, in the town of Arcos de Riva de la Garda, Trento, Italy, along with their guests Pío Leyva, Teresa García Caturla and Isaac Delgado. Organized to promote peace and hope in the world, as well as against Neoliberalism, the festival paid tribute to late Máximo Francisco Repilado Muñoz (Compay Segundo).

The main task Compay left for the musicians accompanying him in his last and most successful period of his 80-year career was that they should continue sowing the seeds of love and joy in the hearts of millions of his fans all over the planet. That aim was well accomplished during the 120 minutes enjoyed by people who sang and danced to 18 songs of the famous repertoire of the group, now called Los Muchachos de Compay Segundo.

They opened the concert with the typical mountain-scene-description by Francisco Repilado, “Saludo Compay,” before an audience that also enjoyed “A tus Pies” and the danzón “Se Perdió la Flauta,” written by the former clarinetist of the Santiago de Cuba’s Municipal Band for his instrument, a work demonstrating his virtuosity. Eighty-six year old Pío Leyva’s wit heated the audience’s temperature, when backed up by Los Muchachos, he played “guarachas” such as La Ternera and La Juma de Ayer, recorded in a duet with Compay in 1997 on the album Lo Mejor de la Vida.

Hugo Garzón and Basilio Repilado (taking the back-up vocals, legacy he inherited and perfected under his father’s instructions) sang with special lyricism the song “Don Felo” by Puerto Rican Felipe Goico. “Fidelidad,” originally recorded by Compay along with Silvio Rodríguez, while Félix Martínez Montero (Chiquitico) embroidered with the “harmonic” the perfect filling for the voices. He thus showed that the “son” patriarch was not wrong when in the last days of his life he decided to put the instrument he invented and loved in his hands.

Then came the time for Teresa García Caturla, former member of the D’Aida quartet. She is one of the most ductile Cuban singers, which was expressed in her duets with Basilio Repilado and Hugo Garzón. Afterwards, came the Cuban “soneros” Isaac Delgado, who ratified his exceptional singer versatility, when with the support of Los Muchachos de Compay Segundo he enticed the audience, that danced and sung along to “Macusa,” “Huellas del Pasado” and “Bilongo” (La Negra Tomasa).

The return of Los Muchachos de Compay, seemed premonitory. The tree of culture and love that Máximo Francisco Repilado Muñoz planted is blossoming.