Africana Soy project in Spanish with English subtitles
Africana Soy contains a selection of songs and arias from zarzuelas. They are set in the milieu of the Africans in Cuba, are generally about love, and show us the discriminatory effects of slavery and miscegenation. The Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona humanizes these people by musically illustrating their desperation and yearning for freedom, loss of homeland and family, and workplace abuse.
These stunning musical compositions incorporate African and autochthonous rhythms and melodies from the island mixed with Spanish influences such as the habanera.
The zarzuelas for the musical theater by Ernesto Lecuona and the writer Sánchez Galarraga act as a reconciliatory element mirroring the feelings of those suffering. By empathy, we will recognize that we are all human being looking for a peaceful life with similar opportunities while showing respect for our differences.
Ana Maria Ruimonte and Huberal Herrera (national award Premio Nacional de Música de Cuba for his lifetime achievements in music, 2020) performed together for the first time in 2016 at the Auditorium of the Museo Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) in Havana with the concert Rosas para Lecuona of compositions by Ernesto Lecuona. They have spread the music of Lecuona in Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, in Cuba, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, in the U.S., sometimes joined in concert by renowned Cuban flutist Zorimé García Caturla and bassist Alan Lewine, and in Madrid in Spain with Cuban-Spanish pianist Alberto Joya, and clarinetist Flavia Méndez, American bassist Alan Lewine, Spanish flutist Antonio Arias, and the Spanish percussionist Víctor Monge.
From the zarzuela “El Batey”
Lyrics by Gustavo Sánchez Galarraga (1893-1934).
Translated by Alan Lewine.
He cries for his lost land
Under the whip that lashes his back
And in the mountain at night the servant
Contemplates death by suicide.
In his bitter song
The black man shows his sadness
He sings from his heart
And of his thirst to find a love.
Under the palms he thinks
Of his distant homeland,
A country where he can no longer set foot
Where his love remains.