When it comes to popular music in Cuba, there is a mandatory word: Repentismo.
Is this a kind of poetry of popular character, transmitted orally and powerful in our fields. His satirical burlesque subject ends up being a real duel or controversy between various artists. However, it is valid to note that jokingly enables the counterpoint does not leave the healthy realm of art. Improvisation is a key brand within the repentismo.
While respecting the framework of the metric of the stanzas, everything falls into its premises. Normally the quintillas are used, also the redondillas and especially the décimas. This condition makes it harder work for the repentista, for the second Minstrel should continue with the proposal by the first stanza. This definitely raises to the category of a poet all those who dedicate themselves to repentismo.
Two Masters of Cuban music
Cuba, as a Latin American paradigm of popular music, has had great singers who put it high prestige of repentismo and controversy. Justo Vega and Adolfo Alfonso are two examples. Since childhood, Adolfo Alfonso demonstrated the lineage of every musician. At the age of 14 he already played tangos.
However, after admiring a dispute between Angelito Valiente and Jesús Orta Ruiz (Indio Naborí), he decided he would dedicate his life to cultivating the tenth and son montuno. Chance led to Adolfo Alfonso radio and an even greater program “Las Mil Diez” (Ten Thousand), led by Justo Vega.
By then, the latter had an established career, highly regarded. It is therefore not surprising that Adolfo Alfonso as his teacher considered not only as a poet but also as a connoisseur of life. It was an encounter that changed the course of the artistic life of Alfonso and the history of the Cuban repentismo.
Thereafter, the radio and television eco talent of both poets were made. The “Palmas y Cañas” TV show saw them, during twenty-five years, part of the most valuable of the Cuban popular music. So strong was the rapport between the two singers who, after the death of Justo Vega, Alfonso decided not to seek another partner. In his statements he has stated that, despite his work with repentistas talented as Emiliano Sardiñas, he has never again experienced the rapport and empathy with fellow feel decades.
Justo and Adolfo in the memory of all
Several years after his last appearances in the media, both troubadours remain in the memory of all those who enjoyed his art.
The unique poetic talent, unmistakably toning and interpret the most authentic music of our fields and the playful, close to “choteo”, earned them the opportunity to break with the rural barrier to pigeonhole repentismo and take their music to a wider audience.
In stage, not always Cuban, but spectators from around the world, tasted the purest flavor of the tropical island, enjoying these two jewels of the popular music.