The rock n’ roll made in Cuba started to occupy its deserved place, and the first recordings by Mezcla began to be aired, while Mayohuacán and Moncada used elements of rock music, without cutting themselves from their styles.
Adalberto Alvarez, who had started to make himself known nationwide by the end of the 70’s, leading Son 14 orchestra in Santiago de Cuba, founded his own group called: “Adalberto Alvarez y su Son” in 1984. He attracted the youth and made his rhythm -born in the eastern part of Cuba and nationalized in Havana- widely accepted by the audience.
There was another group, which gained popularity. The Sierra Maestra septet, created in the image and likeness of the oldie septets, but with a very contemporary sonority. Its single Dame un traguito, written by Juan Almeida and sung by Jose Antonio Rodriguez became a hit.
The recordings of Panamanian Ruben Blades, accompanied by the orchestra of Puerto Rican Willy Colón immediately reached high places in the charts. Afterwards songs like Burbujas de amor and La bilirrubina by Juan Luis Guerra y la 440 captured the listeners’ taste.
And what can we say about Puerto Rican salsa singers like Gilberto Santa Rosa and Andy Montanez, whose popularity remains nowadays?
Mexican Ana Gabriel showed up with Soledad, and other tunes after having won the OTI contest in her own country. At that time, soloist Manuel Mijares, also from Mexico, began to be enjoy popularity in Cuba with hits such as Para amarnos más. Salvadorian Álvaro Torres positioned Ni tú ni ella in the charts. And it is worth to mention Peruvian soloist Tania Libertad, and Brazilian singers Gal Costa and Elis Regina.
The beginnings of the 90ths
Aside from the aforementioned artists, we have to add Italian Eros Ramazzotti, with Si bastasen un par de canciones, a track widely acclaimed by the listeners. Canadian Celine Dion, Argentinean Fito Páez join the list as well as Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Marc Anthony from United States; Sting from United Kingdom and Juan Gabriel, from Mexico among others.
In my opinion, Stevie Wonder was the best singer-songwriter we had from the United States. Certainly, everybody remember him performing “We are the world”, an anthem sung by 46 voices.
Puerto Rican Cheo, Jose Feliciano and Ricky Martin, Spaniards Juan Manuel Serrat, Rocio Jurado, Rocio
Durcal, Isabel Pantoja, Enrique Iglesia, Marco Antonio Solis, Italian Laura Pausini, and Mexican Luis Miguel; they have also ranked first places.
On October 1997, Cheo Feliciano visited Cuba. In the world famous Tropicana Night Club, he recorded a TV program that was also aired by Radio Progreso broadcasting. In that concert, Feliciano invited Cuban outstanding artists to come onto the stage, including César Portillo de la Luz.
The young singer Tania Tania, who had won the Organization of Iberoamerican Television (OTI) song festival in 1997 with “Golondrina”, a song written by Samuel Concepción told: “One of the greatest moments I have lived in my life was when Cheo Feliciano invited me to sing together that beautiful song “Tu mi delirio”, by maestro Cesar Portillo de La Luz in the presence of the author. In 1998 when I was working in Buenos Aires, La Tribu radio station invited me to one of its programs. To my surprise they welcome me with the music of a CD that included the recording I made with Feliciano at Tropicana”.