Alejandro Almenares

Alejandro Almenares

Alejandro Almenares was born on May 24, 1937, in the city of Santiago de Cuba into the humble family of Julia and Angel Sanchez Almenares. His father was the founder of "La Casa De Trova" alongside Virgil Palay and was one of the greatest troubadours in Cuba.

In an informal chat over lunch he tells me his life story with pride and joy. He jokes and laughs with everybody around him as they all want to have their photos taken with him. He then turns round to me and with sparkling eyes he tells me he'd rather his photo was taken with the beautiful waitress, and then continues:

"As a child, I grew up here in Santiago, playing in the streets of this beautiful city, I went to public school until the age of ten. I started to study at the music school till the age of 14 when I had to quit school in order to work and help my poor parents. I started playing music professionally around 1951, and continued to play after the revolution and ever since. Throughout my life I have played music with several bands in the music school including a group called "Los Taínos". My speciality has always been playing guitar in "Trios" formation (a band consisting of three musicians). I've played all the troubadour music that my father composed as well as my own compositions. I've played with and formed many bands with a lot of duets and trios."

In 1960 Almenares formed and directed "Trio oriente" and spent the next 14 years touring and playing with his band all over Cuba and beyond. He later became founder of "Las Guitarras Internacionales" together with Norberto Trujil. As he says: "I've been in so many bands that the number and names escape me ..."

In 1958 he fell in love with his girl friend and married her soon after. They have three children together. She inspired him so much that one of his very first songs "Mueve la cintura mulata" meaning "move your waist mulata" recorded with his band Quinteto Oriente", became very popular. The song was later used in a film starring Antonio Banderas called "Pecado Original". The same song was also interpreted by Omara Portuondo."

As a composer he has written over several hundred songs. Now 76 years old, he lives in Santiago de Cuba and still plays on a daily basis along with Eliades Ochoa and others in the Casa De Trova.

High resolution images

Alejandro Almenares

Casa De Trova, Santiago de Cuba

Inside the Casa De Trova, Santiago de Cuba

Mo Fini of Tumi celebrating can of beer with Alejandro Almenares in Santiago de Cuba

Typical street in Santiago de Cuba

Typical street in Santiago de Cuba (2)

Albums

Dos Gigantes de Musica Cubana

Dos Gigantes de Musica Cubana

This is one of the greatest instrumental CD of all times. two of Cuban giant Veteran guitarist; Eliades Ochoa and Alejandero Almeneres join each other to produce this wonderful recording.

Artists: Alejandro Almenares and Eliades Ochoa

Casa De Trova (Cuba 50's)

Casa De Trova (Cuba 50's)

Alejandro Enis Almenares Born in Santiago de Cuba 24th May 1937 is perhaps the last of the Troubadours of the golden age of Trova in Cuba. As a composer he has written over several hundred songs including "Mueve la cintura mulata" used in the film "Pecado Original". starring Antonio Banderas call more…

Artist: Alejandro Almenares

Casa De Trova (Cuba 50's Instrumental)

Casa De Trova (Cuba 50's Instrumental)

Alejandro Enis Almenares Born in Santiago de Cuba 24th May 1937 is perhaps the last of the Troubadours of the golden age of Trova in Cuba. As a composer he has written over several hundred songs including "Mueve la cintura mulata" used in the film "Pecado Original". starring Antonio Banderas call more…

Artist: Alejandro Almenares