The orchestra “La Típica” of the National Art School (ENA), concentrated the highest quality musicians of his time. Represented experiencing the tradition of Cuban dance rhythms with Western classics, all assigned programs studied at the school.
In Cuba, almost everyone knows Adalberto Alvarez and Jose Luis Cortes “El Tosco,” two of the best musicians in Cuba and representatives of popular music through their orchestras. However, long before they met with the format they agreed independent orchestra in a musical group where the first was its director and the second was flutist and composer: “La Típica” Orchestra of the National School of Art in Havana. Although its name refers to native elements of Cuban music made by so-called wind and brass instruments, this group has nothing to do with it, because its format was extended French charanga.
“La Típica” was born in 1969 and was composed of music students from the National School of Art in Havana (ENA). Adalberto Alvarez was the director and vocals, Andres Alen at the piano, violin Joaquín Betancourt, Jorge Hernandez in the viola, cello Rolando Fernandez, Jose Luis Cortes “El Tosco” and Jorge Campos “Fu Manchu” on flutes . They also took care of the arrangements and compositions.
Other members were Rafael Almazan on guitar and bass, Lazarus E. Cruz was the cousin and trumpet voice, Alejandro Ferreira and Jose A. Perez Fuentes on violin, Jose Antonio Abreu on bongos, or Luis Calixto Oviedo on drums Luis Llorca timbales, Rodolfo Valdés or Ernesto Couto Terry in the drum, Jorge Rivero on oboe and bassoon Juan Vega.
The repertoire revolved around 12 or 13 pieces and did not differ from the charanga orchestras of the time but always in a progressive line. This new musical style was close to what time later became known as the fusion side. And it is that the young members took as a premise draw on influences of all kinds, both national and international. It was evident the points with Baroque music and traditional rhythms like the cha-cha-cha and son.
Dissimilar scenarios presented in the capital, among the most important were the Museum of Fine Arts, the Conservatory Amadeo Roldan and Alejandro Caturla, and the school itself.
“La Típica” existed until about 1971 due to the graduation of some of its members and the insertion in the professional life of them. However, the legacy was immediate. Many of its musicians became recognized figures in Cuban music. Also the introduction of the classic traits in Cuban popular dance was an important element to highlight. Likewise these young anticipated trends in Cuban music became a constant marker in subsequent decades: the jazz blends, innovation in how to present the chorus and the introduction of changes in the instrumental format.
A legacy marked by an orchestra composed of students and continuity after they graduate, of Cuban music and the lessons learned from that institution, it is a merit to highlight what was “La Típica”.