Havana, Cuba – Composer Marta Valdes and percussionist Federico Aristides Soto, better known as Tata Guines, led the list of 52 relevant musicians decorated December 30 with the highest cultural distinctions of the Cuban State.
In a ceremony at the José Martí Memorial Center at the Revolution Square, the honored artists received the medals Felix Varela, Alejo Carpentier and the National Culture Distinction.Leonardo Acosta, Federico Arístides Soto, Manuel Duchesne Cuzan, Vicente Feliu, Maria Antonieta Enriquez, Noel Nicola, Jesus Ortega, Maria Felicia Perez, Ñico Rojas, Marta Valdes, Jose Maria Vitier, Sergio Vitier and Lázaro Ros got the Order Felix Varela.
Carlos Alfonso, Joaquin Betancourt, Bobby Carcasses, Ela Calvo, Juan Manuel Ceruto, Santiago Feliu, Ulises Hernandez, Inocente Iznaga (El Jilguero de Cienfuegos), Hernán Lopez-Nussa and Jose Antonio Mendez were granted the medal Alejo Carpentier.
The list is completed with Teresita Junco, German Ibañez, Adriano Rodriguez and Luis Mirabal, better known as Guajiro Mirabal, Buena Vista Social Club member.
The National Culture Distinction went to the hands of Georgia Aguirre, Enrique Alvarez, Moises Valle, Giraldo Piloto, Manolito Simonet, Mayito Rivera, Cesar “Puppy” Pedroso, Maria Elena Mendiola, Rene Baños and Amadito Valdes (Buena Vista Social Club).
The list also includes Caridad Diez, Jose Reyes, Miriam Escudero, Laura Vilar, Maria del Carmen Prieto, Jesus Rodriguez, Gilberto Morales, Pablo Menendez, Amado de Deu, Teresa Garcia Caturla, Xiomara Valdes, Roberto Sanchez, Emilio Heredia and Pedrito Calvo.
Culture Vice-Minister Abel Acosta summarized the resolutions granting the different decorations with these words: “You are the stars of an admirable career in which art has been, simultaneously, shield and sword.”These medals pay tribute to the merit, devotion and defense of the national identity by the artists decorated, Acosta added.
On behalf of the musicians, composer Marta Valdes expressed how proud they were on the print they have been leaving in Cuban culture, also stated each work they have done means Cuba. While receiving the decoration, she stressed: “We are seeing the perfect tuning for the Homeland to look at us with pride.”
The ceremony was attended by Esteban Lazo, member of the Communist Party´s Politburo; Culture Minister Abel Prieto, Vice-Ministers, officials, musicians and artists, including singer and Parliament member Silvio Rodriguez.
[Photo; Lázaro Ros].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.