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SpanishEnglishEntrevistas - Dorgeris Álvarez 2018

By Michelle White ©

Dorgeris Álvarez

First of all, tell us a little about the European tour and also plans that the orchestra has for events after returning to Cuba such as the carnivals and the Festival del Son. Are there other international tours planned for 2018?

The tour of Europe has been a challenge because I have been conducting the orchestra and facing the audience without the presence of my father. This is the first time we've done this outside of Cuba and has been a success, the wonderful concerts, the audience singing and dancing together. This is something very important to us and it makes us really happy.

When we get back to Cuba we have the Festival del Son in Santiago de Cuba, of which my father is president, and this year will be special because it will be an international festival. There are several tours planned but one very important tour will be to the United States to the Cuban Festival in Chicago where we'll share the stage with Gilberto Santa Rosa and Oscar de Leon.

There is also a new album - "De Cuba Pa'l Mundo Entero". The video of this song is already on YouTube and I have also heard "Los Buenos y Los Malos". What can you tell us about the album and when will it be released?

That's right. We have a new album "De Cuba Pa'l Mundo Entero" that will be released at the Festival del Son on May 8 and you don't want to miss it! The album was meticulously made and mixed in Miami at Marc Anthony's studio with beautiful and very danceable new songs composed by my father, such as "Los Buenos y Los Malos" ,"De Cuba Pa'l Mundo Entero" and "Para Darte Amor", etc., as well as hits from previous albums with new arrangements like "El Mal de la Hipocresía", "Soy Yo No Busques Más", and "Déjala Que Se Vaya".

Is the best way in which our readers can keep up with the orchestra through the official Facebook page or are there other pages where you can find information and news about the group?

All the details about the orchestra can be found on the official page.

You were born and grew up in a musical family of outstanding soneros. How was life at home? Were many musicians passing by the house or did your father work more in the studio and the house was a place to unwind?

My life at home as a child was a blessing between piano,  traditional trova songs sung by my mother, my grandmother, my dad and even my sister Yanitza and they had us singing harmonies from a very early age, sones by Chapottín and Arsenio and danzones by Arcaño. Yes, a lot of musicians stopped by the house and there were descargas and serenades.

At only 16 years of age you started your professional life. What was it like to be so young but already on tour and having the responsibility for the piano, which - I don't to mean to say that it's the most important instrument but it does play rhythm and melody at the same time - thus, an important role in the orchestra?

At the age of 16 it was a great challenge to take responsibility for the piano in this musical institution that is my father's orchestra. I was still studying at the National School of Art and managing the 2 things wasn't easy, as well as having to brave playing with great, consecrated musicians such as Pancho Amat and Calixto Oviedo who were part of the group at that time, but I did it. hahaha

Did you still maintain the same style of playing as your father or in what way did you develop the patterns and guajeos over the years?

I tell you my flavor when I play the tumbaos, it's my father's, I inherited it from him, but when I studied piano, I developed the technique more and added something of my own.

For starting your profession so young you have lived through different times in popular dance music such as the special period with the arrival of timba and now the arrival of reggaeton. How can an orchestra maintain its style when fashion changes?

When fashion changes, since it's fashion and doesn't last, we have to continue doing what we do well, with quality and not get carried away by those things.

During the years have you composed or arranged songs for Adalberto Álvarez and Su Son?

I have never composed or arranged in my father's orchestra.

After more than 20 years with Adalberto Álvarez and Su Son you left to found your own group. What was the reason? Was it restlessness to explore your own musical interests?

If I founded my orchestra because I had my own interests. I wanted to play my songs with my arrangements, record them, enjoy how they sounded, experiment.

You had your father as a model of how to direct an orchestra and he has said that you are his right hand, did all that prepare you to be the director of your own group or did you find unexpected situations or problems?

My father is a school in himself and, yes, everything I do as a director I learned at his side. Unexpected problems always exist but I was prepared to take them on and solve them.

You released an album in 2015 "La Sonera Mayor". Can you compare your music with that of your father's group?

My music and my father's cannot be compared, it would be a mistake on my part to make comparisons. He is a king, one of the greats, one of the most important Cuban composers of the 20th and 21st century, although when I write and arrange I have his influence and it gives me great pride.

Who were the composers and arrangers?

On the album "La Sonera Mayor" there are some of my own compositions and other authors' songs, as well as some of the arrangements are mine and others are not.

In 2017 you returned to play piano with Adalberto Álvarez and Su Son. Do you think now that you're going to stay or will you also continue doing your own projects?


Yes, I'm back with my father and I'll be here until I'm old, hahahaha, even if I make recordings and musical productions with my music. But here I will be with El Son de Adalberto defending the music with good taste, flavor and Cubanía that my father Adalberto Álvarez writes and that we play.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 01:21 AM