Tony Ávila: One of Cuba’s Most Genuine Troubadour

Sancti Spíritus, Cuba (Prensa Latina) At the rhythm of guaracha, son or bolero, Tony Ávila (Havana, 1970) stands out today as one of the most genuine representatives of the Cuban trova and particularly the social song, heiress of artists such as Silvio Rodríguez or Noel Nicola.

Considered an artist with ‘proven light of his own, and a clear commitment to his time, Ávila prefers to define himself simply as a troubadour of heart, consistent with what he thinks and sings,’ noted music critic and producer José Manuel García.

From the beginning of July, the author of ‘Timbiriche’ and ‘La Choza de Chacho y Chicha’ goes through the western central area of Cuba presenting his new album ‘Pa que haga la luz’, which includes 14 new songs in content and themes .

Although the album was released in August 2016, we had the intention of touring Cuba so that people could know it closely because it is a symphonic album, with a new format within my work, Avila said in a interview with Prensa Latina.

This new production has as a novel element: the inclusion of wind instruments and the presentation of luxury guests like Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa accompanying the author in the songs ‘Negra’ and ‘Las mujeres dicen’ respectively.

Tony Avila wound up his tour from Camagüey to the west of Cuba finishing it at the National Theatre in an exclusive concert with the Dominican Sergio Vargas, who visitsed Cuba for the first time.

CUBAN SOCIAL SONG MUST PREVAIL

From the beginning of his career, Ávila presented himself as heir to the Cuban social song, a musical genre defended since the middle of last century that still conquers thousands of Cubans and Latin Americans.

The new Cuban trova still conserves an interesting cultural movement that bets on the social themes using musical formulas that triumphed by mixing its traditional sonority and the feeling until it was successfully expanded by the southern cone and other latitudes.

Sara González, Pedro Luis Ferrer, Vicente and Santiago Feliú, Amaury Pérez, Carlos Varela, Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés are some of the most influential artists in this musical genre.

A troubadour is essentially a person committed to his time, life, the society in which he live, the land and its surrounding area, and the course of things. Therefore, he also has something of a thinker, a chronicler, says Avila.

Although some go one way and some for another, everyone who prefers that gender has the essence in the soul. So we are always going to be thinkers and musicians at the same time.

Even when his music has been considered ‘bold’ and ‘controversial’, this artist claims he has never felt afraid to say what he thinks.

‘I really do not care what the censors think of my songs, I try to make my work coherent, consistent with what I think and sing. I think if the criticism is permeated with positive things, it can be of great help.’

At the same time, I take great care not to be offensive to my songs. When it comes to social, religious or racial issues, you do not have to be invasive or aggressive, he added.

A MUSICAL BRIDGE IN THE CARIBBEAN

If Jhonny Ventura, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Víctor Manuelle or the Gran Combo of Puerto Rico interpret songs from Avila, it is not only a coincidence, but a result of the path initiated by this composer since the late 1990s.

Now that his music travels the world in repertoires of great voices, the singer-song writer continues his work with artists like Sergio Vargas, which whom he will close the national tour in Havana.

In January of this year, Gilberto Santa Rosa invited him to participate in the Festivals of San Sebastián Street in Old San Juan, in front of about 50 thousand people, where they sang songs as ‘Titere’ and ‘Necesito un bolero’, included in the Albums ‘En Tierra’ (2012) and ‘Timbiriche’ (2013), respectively.

His music has also reached countries like England, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and the United States.

Elizabeth Borrero, mh/gpm/msm/nda/ebr

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