Tag Archives: Nueva Trova Cubana

Accessible Nueva Trova from Alex Cuba

Alex Cuba – Sublime

Alex Cuba – Sublime (Caracol Records, 2019)

Canada-based Cuban singer-songwriter is known for his pop-leaning style, including catchy hooks commonly used in Spanish-language commercial productions. There are undeniable Cuban elements as well, such as Afro-Cuban percussion, Spanish-influenced guitars, intimate nueva trova poetic lyrics and song delivery. Additionally, Alex uses rich jazz harmonies.

Highlights include a bolero duo with Buena Vista Social Club star Omara Portuondo and a love song with nueva trova pioneer Pablo Milanés.

Sublime is an acoustic effort.  “Acoustic music just goes with my soul,” explains Alex. “I’m not against synths and electronics, but I’m not interested in just making a big noise and getting people to dance. I wanted the songs on this album to have some breathing space. I suggest things, leave things at a subliminal level. Every listen will tell you something else.”

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Artist Profiles: Pablo Milanés

Pablo Milanés

Born in Bayamo, 1943, self-taught Pablo Milanés started his career evidencing the influence of blues and gospel music. He joined the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Art and Cinematography) in the late 1960s.

Together with Leo Brouwer, Silvio Rodriguez, Noel Nicola, Sara Gonzalez and Eduardo Ramos, inspired by Traditional Trova or Feeling, he founded the Nueva Trova Cubana (New Cuban Song) movement, a new style to bring universal elements together with native forms. Pablo Milanés became very popular throughout Cuba, the rest of Latin America and Spain.

Widely covered by many international artists, Milanés has also composed scores for films, documentaries and television series.


Versos José Martí Cantados por Pablo Milanés (1974)
Canta a Nicolás Guillén (1975)
Pablo Milanés (1976)
No me pidas (1978)
Aniversario (1979)
Años with Luis Peña (1979)
Canta a la resistencia popular chilena (1980)
El pregón de las flores with Lilia Vera (1981)
Filin (1981)
Yo me quedo (1982)
El guerrero (1983)
Comienzo y final de una verde mañana (1984)
Ao vivo no Brasil (1984)
Querido Pablo (1986)
Buenos días América (1987)
Trovadores, with Armando Garzón (1987)
Proposiciones (1988)
Filin 2 (1989)
Filin 3 (1989)
Identidad (1990)
Canto de la abuela (1991)
Filin 4 (1991)
Filin 5 (1991)
Canta boleros en Tropicana (1994)
Evolución (1994)
Igual que ayer, with Caco Senante (1994)
Orígenes (1994)
Plegaria (1995)
Si yo volviera a nacer (1995)
Blanco y negro, with Víctor Manuel (1995)
Despertar (1997)
Vengo naciendo (1998)
Días de gloria (2000)
Live from New York City (2000)
Pablo querido (2002)
Como un campo de maíz (2005)
Líneas paralelas, with Andy Montañez (2005)
Regalo (2007)
Pablo Milanés en vivo: Amor y desamor (2007)
Raúl y Pablo, with Raúl Torres (2008)
Más allá de todo, with Chucho Valdés (2008)
Feeling 6 (2008)
Pablo y Lynn Milanés en concierto (2011)
Renacimiento (2013)
Canción de otoño (2014)
50 de 22 (2015)
Flores del futuro, with Miguel Núñez (2016)
Amor, with Haydée Milanés (2017)


Artist Profiles: Noel Nicola

Noel Nicola was born in Havana in 1946. The singer and composer was born is a family of musicians. His father, Issac, was a well known guitarist and his mother a violinist.

Nicola learned how to play the guitar by himself. He composed his first songs at 13. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of Nueva Trova Cubana since 1968.

In 1969, Nicola joined the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora [Sound Experimentation Group] of the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). There, he expanded his musical education by attending workshops by Cuban masters Leo Brouwer, Juan Elósegui and Federico Smith. He became the first president of the now extinct Movimiento de la Nueva Trova (1972 – 1977).

Nicola’s body of work includes 350 songs, movie and TV soundtracks, theater scores, and orchestrations. His better known songs are “Por la vida juntos,” “Para una imaginaria Maria del Carmen,” “Comienzo el dia,” “Son oscuro” and “Es más, te perdono.”

He died of cancer on August 7, 2005.


Artist Profiles: Silvio Rodriguez

Silvio Rodriguez

Singer, guitarist and songwriter Silvio Rodríguez is one of Cuba’s most influential songwriters. He was born November 29 of 1946 in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. His mother introduced him to music by singing lullabies, boleros, and sometimes sones.

His first contact with the mass media was at the age of 3, at a radio station. At 16 he took piano lessons. His musical studies were interrupted by his service in the Cuban armed forces as a conscript. Nevertheless, while in the military, he met Esteban Baños, who encouraged him to play guitar. That was the beginning of a new stage in his artistic career.

His poems, combined with his revolutionary ideology and his innate talent at making music, made Rodríguez a leading figure in Cuban music. Together with Pablo Milanés and Noel Incola, he gave birth to the Nueva Trova Cubana movement. His creative work includes hundreds of songs that made him popular throughout the Americas as well as Europe and some African countries.


* Grupo De Experimentation Sonora Del ICAIC, v. 1
* Grupo De Experimentation Sonora Del ICAIC, v. 2
* Grupo De Experimentation Sonora Del ICAIC, v. 3
* Grupo De Experimentation Sonora Del ICAIC, v. 4
* Días y flores (Egrem, 1975)
* Cuando digo futuro (1977)
* Al final de este viaje… (1978)
* Antología (1978)
* Mujeres (Polygram, 1978)
* Rabo de nube (1980)
* Unicornio (1982)
* Tríptico (volumen uno) (1984)
* Tríptico (volumen dos) (1984)
* Tríptico (volumen tres) (1984)
* Causas y azares (1986)
* Arboles, with Roy Brown (1987)
* Oh, melancolía (1988)
* En Chile (1990)
* España y Argentina en vivo (1990)
* Silvio (1992)
* Rodríguez (1994)
* Domínguez (1996)
* Descartes (1998)
* Mariposas (1999)
* El Hombre Extrano, with Grupo Sintesis
* Mano A Mano, with Luis Eduardo Aute
* Expedición (2002)
* Cita con ángeles (2003)
* Érase que se era (2006)
* Segunda Cita (2010)
* Amoríos (Sony Latin, 2015)