85 years ago, in 1932, on February 17th, the Castro sisters come together to form the first Cuban women’s group.
Although their beginnings have been in the son, soon they pass to the format JazzBand or the Tropical Charanga, with new artists, more rhythms and themes on its repertoire. The members of the Anacaona Orchestra in its origins were Concepción Castro Zaldarriaga and his sisters, Ada, Alicia, Algimira, Caridad, Olga, Ondina and Xiomara, along with Graciela Pérez and Hortensia Palacios.
The origins of Anacaona
The beginnings of Anacaona can be traced back to the outdoor cafes of Paseo del Prado, in Havana. Then came the international tours that began in Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Caribbean and France. In the Aztec country it was where they achieved major successes, repeating the contracts and recording for films of the time like “Women in theater“, “The night is ours” and “I do not deny my past“.
They also signed with the famous record label RCA Víctor for the realization of 3 discs and they interpret great variety of Cuban music, from son to afrocuban rhythms and other popular and dance genres. More than 50 years later, the Cuban culture recognized them as Cultural Heritage of Cuba, since they kept acting uninterrupted until 1989 with the same members.
Orchestra Anacaona: the new generation
After the retirement of the Castro sisters, Georgina Aguirre González assumes the role of director, which conserves until now. Along with this important Cuban bassist, a whole new generation of women joined the Anacaona Orchestra, always with the seal of being graduated from schools such as the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, giving the group an academic and professional distinction difficult to emulate in the current panorama.
Anacaona has also managed to preserve the public’s preference by taking on the challenges of each decade and inserting its unique style into the different tropical rhythms of fashion. However, not only for dance music is this orchestra known, but it also has a prestigious tradition in Latin-jazz and even in theater with the play The tropical bourgeoisie. All this is reason to be, without any competition, The Insigne Women’s Orchestra of Cuba, title with which they travel the world.
The success of Anacaona in all stages
The Anacaona Orchestra has brought Cuban music to different stages such as those of Japan and the United States, as well as representing the cultural tradition of Cuba in more than 20 other countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. In the last decades they have recorded almost 10 discs with the production of important figures of the national music like Jose Luis Cortés, Juan Formell and Joaquín Betancourt.
As if that were not enough, they were linked to the making of films such as La Bella del Alhambra, Barrio Negro and Vidas paralelas. It is very common that this band is nominated for the Lucas and Cubadisco Awards and work with other musicians such as Mayco D’Alma and Laritza Bacallao brings the guarantee of a sure success that all Cubans look forward to.
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