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Tony Ávila: A rhythm of guaracha, son or boleros

He was born in Havana in 1970 and stands out today as one of the most genuine representatives of Cuban ballards and particularly of songs with social messages. He is the successor of names such as Silvio Rodríguez or Noel Nicola.


  La música latinoamericana 1 Foto de PixabayElizabeth Borrero


Considered a “proven successful artist on his own merit, with a clear commitment to his time”, Ávila prefers to define himself simply as a troubadour in essence, consistent with what he thinks and sings, noted music critic and producer José Manuel García.

From the beginning of July, the writer of “Timbiriche” and “Chacho de Chacho y Chicha” will go through the west of central Cuba, presenting his new album “Pa que haga la luz”, a production that includes 14 new tracks.

“Although the phonogram was released in August 2016, for some time we had intended to take it by Cuba so that people would be able to experience it first-hand because it is a symphonic album, with a new format within my work”, Avila said in an interview with Prensa Latina.

This new album has the incorporates wind instruments and features special guests such as Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa as novel elements accompanying the artist on the tracks “Negra” and “Women say”.

tony avila foto cubaontimeSongs with social messages

Since the beginning of his career, Avila has presented himself as heir to the Cuban social song genre, defended since the last century and still conquering thousands of Cubans and Latin Americans.

The new Cuban trova continues to be an interesting movement which focuses on social themes, using musical formulas that triumphed by mixing their traditional sonority and feeling to expand successfully through the Southern Cone and other latitudes. Among the list of names with considerable influence on this trend is Sara González, Pedro Luis Ferrer, Vicente and Santiago Feliú, Amaury Pérez, Carlos Varela, Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés.

All cultivators of the Cuban social song capable of reflecting and intoning at the same time compositions that marked different times on the island with a very particular style.

All cultivators of the Cuban social song are capable of simultaneously reflecting and intoning compositions that marked different times on the island with a very particular style.

Tony avila“A troubadour is, in essence, a person committed to his time, to life, to the society in which we live, the earth and the surrounding environment, and to the becoming of things. Therefore, he also has to be a thinker, a chronicler”, says Ávila.

“Although some go by one style and others by another, everyone who prefers this genre has the essence in their soul. So we are always going to be thinkers and musicians at the same time.”

Even when his music has been considered as “daring” and “controversial,” this artist claims he has never felt afraid to say what he thinks. “I really do not care what the censors think of my songs, I try to make my work coherent, consistent with what I think and sing, besides doing it in normal life. I think if criticisms are infused with positive things, it helps”.

“At the same time, I take great care not to be offensive in my songs, when it comes to a subject such as social, religious or racial. You do not have to go down invasive or aggressive roads”, he added.

music pixabayIf Jhonny Ventura, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Víctor Manuelle or the Gran Combo of Puerto Rico interpret songs from Ávila, it is not only a coincidence, but as a result of the path paved by this composer from the late 1990s.

Now that his music travels the world in the repertoires of great voices, the singer-songwriter continues his work with artists like Sergio Vargas, with whom he will close the national tour in Havana or Santa Rosa itself.

In January of this year, the Puerto Rican invited him to participate in the San Sebastián San Juan Street Festival in front of about 50 thousand people, where they both performed songs such as “Títere” and “Necesito un bolero”, included in the albums “On land” (2012) and Timbiriche (2013) respectively.

His music has also reached countries like England, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and the United States.

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