Cuba: jewels of the musical label of the Álvarez Guedes brothers

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Cuba: jewels of the musical label of the Álvarez Guedes brothers

Juana Bacallao, Elena Burke, Cascarita, and Matancera, are some of the names of independent radio in Cuba before 1959

MIAMI— Elena Burke, Cascarita, Juana Bacallao, Rolando Laserie, saxophonist Chombo Silva, the Orquesta Casino and the Sonorous Matancera, are some of the names that put music to this program, which also pays tribute to independent radio in Cuba before from 1959.

At the end of 1957, the brothers Emilio and Guillermo Álvarez Guedes placed a new label in the record field: Gema, which from its first editions contributed to the development and solidity of the record industry in Cuba. We dedicate this edition of CUBAkústica FM to this important music label.

In the initial catalog of the Gema label we find the debut as a soloist of Elena Burke, the performance of notable musicians in the jazz field such as the trumpeter Alejandro “El Negro” Vivar or the percussionist Walfredito de los Reyes, as well as the reappearances of veterans such as the singer Orlando Guerra “Cascarita” and flutist Antonio Arcaño. Ernesto Duarte, and later Bebo Valdés, who carried out important work as musical producers for Gema.

Another of the gems produced by Gema on the border between the 50s and 60s is “Frank Domínguez al piano”. Fortunately, also under the cover of the night and live from the club, a youthful Juana Bacallao remained on the records.

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