[Marxism] Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer dies

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 6 22:47:28 MDT 2005

(He must have been one of the sweetest persons ever to 
live. He could have lived abroad after the Buena Vista 
Social Club became world-famous, but this quiet and 
unassuming man lived, worked and made happiness where- 
ever he went. There's a beautiful billboard which was 
put up not long ago with his smiling face remind the 
viewer that Washington wouldn't allow him to enter the
US because he was from Cuba and wouldn't oppose Cuba's 
Revolution. Ibrahim Ferrer, Presente!

Last Update: Sunday, August 7, 2005. 11:42am (AEST)


Ferrer was shining shoes when recruited for the Buena Vista
sessions. (Reuters) 	 

Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer dies

Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer, known worldwide for his work
on the Buena Vista Social Club project, has died at a
Havana hospital at the age of 78.

His wife, Caridad Diaz, says Ferrer, who had just completed
a month-long tour of Europe, checked into hospital a few
days ago with symptoms of gastroenteritis.

"He was a very worthy person to be admired, not only as a
musician but also as a father and a husband. He completed
his European tour with great bravery," she said.

"We are deeply affected by his death."

Born in Cuba's second city of Santiago in 1927, Ferrer was
in semi-retirement and shining shoes for money when he was
recruited to participate in the Buena Vista Social Club

US musician and producer Ry Cooder travelled to Havana in
the late 1990s to unite aging greats of Cuban music,
producing a CD and later a documentary film to worldwide


Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer dies


The veteran Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer has died in a
Havana hospital, aged 78.

He had recently completed a month-long tour of Europe, and
was admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis, his wife
Caridad Diaz told the AFP news agency.

He was a master of the son and bolero styles, but was in
obscurity when US guitarist Ry Cooder recruited him for the
Buena Vista Social Club.

The 1997 record of the same name gave him an international
reputation in his seventies, and led to numerous tours.

In 1999, a film directed by Wim Wenders, was released,
showing Ry Cooder's work with the group of veteran Cuban

Late stardom

Ferrer died of a heart attack, and will be buried on

"He was a very worthy person, to be admired, not only as a
musician but also as a father and a husband," said Ms Diaz.

"He completed his European tour with great bravery. We are
deeply affected by his death."

Two other leading members of the Buena Visita Social Club
died in 2003, pianist Ruben Gonzalez and guitarist Compay

Story from BBC NEWS:

Ibrahim Ferrer, 78

Saturday, August 6, 2005 Updated at 8:48 PM EDT

Associated Press

Havana - Ibrahim Ferrer, a leading voice with the hugely
popular Buena Vista Social Club of vintage Cuban
performers, died Saturday, his representative in Cuba said.
He was 78.

The Montuno production company did not give a cause of
death, but Ferrer's colleagues said he suffered from
emphysema and was feeling ill earlier in the week.

Known for his trademark cap and graying mustache, Ferrer
was a wiry, animated figure who clearly enjoyed performing
Cuba's traditional "son" music of the 1940s and 1950s for
new generations of fans.

Among a group of older Cuban performers recruited by U.S.
musician Ry Cooder, Ferrer performed on the "Buena Vista
Social Club album" that won a Grammy in 1999, and was among
those appearing in the film of the same name.

"I felt like he was my brother," said fellow Buena Vista
performer, the guitarist Manuel Galban. "He was a great
musician and a great companion."

Also in 1999, Ferrer was featured in one of a string of
albums that followed, "Buena Vista Social Club Presents
Ibrahim Ferrer," and won a Latin Grammy for best new artist
in 2000.

Two other well-known members of the original Buena Vista
group, singer Compay Segundo and pianist Ruben Gonzalez,
died in 2003.

Originally from Cuba's eastern city of Santiago, Ferrer was
born on Feb. 20, 1927, during a dance at a social club
after his mother unexpectedly went into labor.

Ferrer was still a boy when he began singing professional
with Santiago groups in 1941. By the late 1950s, he was a
well-known singer performing regularly with the late, great
bandleader Pacho Alonso.

He also made guest appearances with other legendary names,
including Benny More and Orquesta de Chepin.

Alonso's group moved to Havana in 1959, and Ferrer came
along, remaining with the group for more than two decades.
By the early 1980s, Ferrer had left the musical scene, but
came out of retirement to perform with the Buena Vista

* C Copyright 2005 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All
Rights Reserved.

Published: 2005/08/07 01:43:53 GMT

Buena Vista singer Ibrahim Ferrer dies

Sat Aug 6, 2005 11:34 PM ET

HAVANA (Reuters) - Ibrahim Ferrer, the mild-mannered singer
of the Buena Vista Social Club group that took him from
shining shoes to world fame late in life, died on Saturday
in Havana, his manager said. He was 78.

The Grammy winner known for his trademark cap and gray
mustache died of multiple organ failure after returning ill
on Wednesday from a European tour, manager Daniel Florestan

"He was taken to hospital when he got back and his
condition worsened. He died of multiple organ failure,"
Florestan said.

A singer of Cuba's traditional son music whose voice has
been compared with that of Nat King Cole, Ferrer was born
at a social club dance in Santiago, Cuba, on Feb. 20, 1927
when his mother suddenly went into labor. He began singing
professionally at the age of 14.

By the 1950s, he was an established singer who performed
with well-known Cuban bands, including that of the
legendary Benny More.

But Ferrer was a forgotten name by the 1990s, supplementing
a meager state pension in communist Cuba by shining shoes.

He was lifted from obscurity by the Grammy-winning 1997
Buena Vista Social Club album recorded by a group of
vintage Cuban musicians brought together by Texas guitarist
Ry Cooder.

The aging musicians were catapulted to an unexpected second
career and international fame that grew further with the
1999 film of the same name by German director Wim Wenders.

Two of the group's top members, singer Compay Segundo and
pianist Ruben Gonzalez, died in 2003.

Like them, Ferrer launched a solo career and released
records in 1999 and 2003, winning another Grammy and two
Latin Grammys, including one in 2000 for best new artist at
the age of 72.

During his latest tour in Europe, which took him to the
Montreux Jazz Festival, Britain, Holland, Austria, France
and Spain, Ferrer sang a collection of boleros he was
recording and planned to release next year.


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