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Marcelino Guerra

Biography

With his smoky, nasal-toned voice evoking the character of a bohemian troubadour, Cuban guitarist, singer, and composer Marcelino Guerra had a long, storied career dating back to the 1920s and continuing through the '90s. He played with many of the greats, including Septeto Nacional and Machito. Among his enduring compositions are "Pare Cochero" and "Me Voy Pa'l Pueblo," both of which are among the most covered songs in Cuban music history. Although he relocated to New York in 1944 (never to return to Cuba), he continued to maintain a musical presence on the island and beyond. Incorporating non-Cuban, harmonic elements into classic forms of the bolero, son montuno, guajira and guracha, he laid the foundation for the influential "filin" movement in which songwriters mixed jazz and romantic themes. In recent years, he continued to record and was ultimately reunited with Cuban artists Omara Portuondo and Compay Segundo.

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