Reinaldo Hierrezuelo, Last Member of Los Compadres, Dies in Havana

He played the tres, sang and was known as the “human flute” for his whistling skills. He is also the author of more than thirty songs, and winner of the Cubadisco Honor Award and the Amadeo Roldan Certificate given by the Association of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC).

Born on December 30, 1926, in Santiago de Cuba, Reinaldo and his brothers (he was the youngest of eleven) used to perform in El Caney, where he lived with his family.

With no musical studies, Reinaldo created in the late 1930s the legendary Cuarteto Patria along with Emilia Garcia, Francisco Cobas, and Rigoberto Echevarria.

In 1952 he joined the duo Los Compadres, made up by his brother Lorenzo, who accompanied for many years Cuban troubadour María Teresa Vera and Compay Segundo, with whom he toured half of the world.

After his work with the duo, he was part of the Conjunto Caney, of Benitico Yánes, called Conjunto de Carlos at first. He also joined other groups like Brisas de Nipe, Melodias del Sur and the Lino Borbolla Orchestra.

At that time Reinaldo had already recorded with the Sonora Matancera group, sharing lead vocals with Celia Cruz and Celio Gonzalez, and later he joined the Sonora as a permanent member.

Years later, he sang with Benny More in the legendary cabaret Ali Bar in Havana, and even replaced him on more than one occasion.

In 1999 he recorded a solo CD, Enamorado de la Vida, for Virgin Records, which included 14 songs, 11 of which he composed.

That same year, he founded, along with other Cuban musicians, the Vieja Trova Santiaguera, with the objective of recording just one disk, although the success of the group made it record several more albums, until it said good-bye to stage in 2003 with a tour, a video, and an album entitled El balcon del adios.

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