Septeto Nacional

                                           

          

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At the end of the 19th Century in the sugar cane and coffee plantations of the Cuban 'Oriente' region, two different music styles began to combine: the rhythms of African slaves and the songs of Spanish heritage.


The result was a new music: the Son Oriental whose popularity, in the beginning, was limited to the rural areas of its origin. Officially it was classified as frivolous and indecent. However, its fame spread quickly to the urban neighbourhoods of the main cities in the region.

At that time Son was played by small combos composed of three to five musicians. Among the first groups to achieve fame were the Cuarteto Oriental and some years later the famous Trio Matamoros.

At the beginning of the twenties Havana experienced a major influx of orientales (people from 'Oriente') and due to their cultural influence Son became more and more accepted in the Capital. The 'Habaneros' (people from Havana) fell in love with the new rhythm and immediately put their peculiar stamp on it, speeding up the tempo, and playing it with six musicians.

During that period new groups such as the Sexteto Bolona and the Sexteto Occidental were formed and others, like the Cuarteto Orientall becoming the Sexteto Habanero, adapted to the new conditions.

A young musician named Ignacio Pineiro still was not satisfied by the existing sound of the Son groups. This sound was mainly based on vocals percussion and strings. Thus in 1927 he created his own group:The 'Septeto Nacional' adding, for the first time in the history of Son, a trumpet as lead instrument.

This completely changed the sound and Son quickly became the most celebrated music in
Cuba. Not long after, it also became well known outside the country. When in 1928 Son and Septeto Nacional were the sensation of the World Exposition in Sevilla. Son was here to stay and became the basis for many other music styles. like Mambo and Salsa and helped change the course of Congolese music thanks to 78s and the wind-up Edison. The 1930s heard the sounds of Cuban bands like Orquesta Aragon, Septeto Habanero and Septeto Nacional on both sides of the Congo River. Today, after more than seventy years of success, the "Septeto Nacional" is still alive and kicking.

Young gifted talents continue the tradition founded by Ignacio Pineiro

Septeto Nacional last toured Ireland in 1998 and played at Whelan's in Dublin and Bar Cuba in Galway.

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Last modified: 02/23/11