Grupo Compay Segundo, legend of Cuban music

Grupo Compay Segundo, légende de la musique cubaine
For twenty years, they have been travelling the world and perpetuating the warm, danceable tradition of Cuban music with their guitars, double bass, percussion and Selmer clarinets. This autumn, the artists return to the stage in Paris to unveil their brand new project, Vivelo.

The spirit of the Buena Vista Social Club

Born in 1907 in Cuba, Francisco Repilado learned to play the tres (a Cuban guitar), the clarinet and the bongo at an early age - he even invented a seven-string guitar, the armónico. In 1942, he formed the duo Los Compadres with Lorenzo Hierrezuelo, and became Compay Segundo, a major figure in Cuban music. With the Buena Vista Social Club project, Compay Segundo and his “compañeros” toured the world and their song Chan Chan became a traditional Cuban anthem.

When he died in 2003 at the age of 95, he left behind an immense legacy. In order to continue and make better known the work of their father, two of his sons, Salvador and Basilio Repilado, who had already accompanied him on stage, formed Grupo Compay Segundo with several members of the Buena Vista Social Club. A musical adventure that has now lasted for almost twenty years.

“We were lucky to be able to count on our musicians, who did an extraordinary job, especially the clarinettists, because Compay Segundo was a clarinettist and always wanted traditional Cuban music to have that special sound” (Salvador Repilado)

The clarinet players today are Rafael Inciarte Rodríguez (also musical director and choir director), his son Rafael Inciarte Cordero, and Haskell Armenteros Pons.

Vivelo, tradition and renewal

Today, the nine musicians of the ensemble still carry the colours of traditional Cuban music loud and clear, while opening up to more modern sounds.

For their fourth album, Vivelo, the group has signed 8 original tracks for the first time under the direction of Salvador Repilado, double bass player and historical musical director of the band, and singer-songwriter Maikel Dinza, recent winner of the Cubadisco premium.

“It turns out that a kind of magic has been achieved with the group's sound, because including songs by Compay Segundo and songs by Maikel Dinza has led to a very important fusion. We kept the spirit of the band, the Cuban son, the traditional son that we feel at home in Santiago de Cuba.”

Several talented artists have contributed to building this bridge between the tradition and the modernity of the new Cuban scene: pianist Rolando Luna, trumpeter Alexander Abreu, and singer Isaac Delgado.


See you at La Cigale on November 1st

The artists of Grupo Compay Segundo will unveil their new project on Tuesday 1st November at La Cigale (Paris 18th) during an exceptional evening!

Wishing to offer a springboard to young musicians, the Maison SELMER will give clarinettists from 16 to 20 years old the opportunity to go on stage to make the first part for the mythical group! A dozen clarinettists from the CRR of Rueil-Malmaison will borrow from the Cuban and Latin American repertoire.

 Book your ticket