Isidro Benitez: A Cuban Sensation in South America

Repeating Islands

ISIDRO-FOTO-1

The work of the late Cuban-born musician, conductor and composer Isidro Benitez is better known in South America than in Cuba, whence the artist was forced to emigrate, in 1926, owing to the widespread and deeply-rooted racism of the time. As a black man, Benitez was denied the possibility of performing in venues that should have welcomed an artist of his stature, Elio Delgado Legón reports in this article for Havana Times.

Though we were born in the same town (Santo Domingo, in Cuba’s province of Villa Clara), I didn’t get to meet Benitez until 1973, when, for study-related reasons, I had to travel to Santiago de Chile, where he resided at the time.

He greeted me as one does an old friend and showered me with questions about his family, his native town and Cuba’s situation – in short, he wanted to know everything.

I paid him only…

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