Thursday, June 09, 2011

Ibae: Guillermo Triana "El Negro"

We regret to pass along this sad news, El Negro Triana passed away yesterday, apparently from complications of asthma.

Below is a repost of a profile we did on him in February 2009.

Guillermo "El Negro" Triana Crespo
Havana, Feb 2008
(photo: Barry Cox)

Guillermo Triana Crespo, known as "El Negro" was born on February 10 1940, at 212 calle Ángeles, between Corrales y Gloria, in Jesús María, Havana, just down the street from the Embale family. He was always there at the rumbas in their solar, they were like family to him. Guillermo was inspired to begin singing rumba by hearing Carlos Embale's older brother, Luis. He would sing with a group called Estrellas Amalianas, along with Lazaro Suazo, Roberto Carillo (a nephew of Tio Tom), and Chino "Mala Noche," now all passed away.

While El Negro is appreciated by everyone as an all-around rumba singer, equally adept at guaguancó, columbia, yambú and Abakuá, his preference is for voz tercera, the high harmony part in a vocal duo. He also enjoys creating arrangements, adapting songs from other genres such as boleros, splicing them together into a creation all his own.

El Negro has enjoyed a long and varied career. In 1965 he joined Pello El Afrokán's Mozambique group and later joined Luis "Aspirina" Chacón Medivel's group Sicamarié.

He also worked with Lacho Rivero in carnavales, and even worked as a music therapist in a psychiatric hospital.

In 1970 he began working with Carlos Embale, playing tumbador on the LP "Conjunto Guaguancó Carlos Embale."

Later he began working with the great Coro Folklórico Nacional, (initally formed by Ignacio Piñeiro), with whom he continues today.

He was married to the great rumba singer Zuzana Calzado until her passing several years ago.

He has also been called more recently to participate in groups with Pancho Quinto as well as Ventu Rumbero, working with Chavalonga, Fariñas and Román Diaz.

-Grupo de Pello El Afrokán
-Grupo Sicamarié
-Grupo de Lacho Rivero
-Grupo de Carlos Embale
-El Coro Folklórico Cubano
-Grupo de Pancho Quinto
-Ventú Rumbero

Coro Folkórico Cubano "En un Solar Habanero" (Egrem 0424, 1991)
Pancho Quinto "En el Solar La Cueva del Humo" (RWCD 9704, 1997)
El Goyo: "La Rumba es Cubana - su Historia" (Unicornio UN-CD6004)
Pancho Quinto "Rumba sin Fronteras" (Riverboat 2003)
Clave y Guaguancó "La Rumba que no Termina" (2007)

-DVD "Rumbambeo" (Boogalu Productions) de Santiago Garzón Rill "Chaguito"

Liner notes, DVD "Rumbambeo" de Santiago Garzón Rill "Chaguito".
Pequeña Enciclopedia de la Rumba Cubana.

Singing "Una vez me dormí" in 2008:

Una vez me dormí
Autor: "Violino Tzigano (after Cherubini)" de Carlo Buti (La décima es de Tio Tom)
Género: Guaguancó
Grabación: Guillermo Triana "El Negro" in situ Feb 2008

Una vez fui a dormir
Y soñé que un vuelo
Un camino cogí
Y de pronto me vi
En la puerta del cielo
Y en el cielo rumor
De canciones venian
Y una diana de amor
Alivió mi dolor
Que en mi pecho sentia

Pues bueno,
Anoche estuve soñando
Que al cielo me transportaba
Apolo que me esperaba
Me recibió improvisando
Luego estuvimos hablando
Luego estuvimos hablando
Sobre de astrologia
San José y San Fernando
San José y San Fernando
Con Jesus Cristo llegaron
Y asombrado se quedaron
De la improvisación mia
María un beso me dió
Timbero, María un beso me dió
San José reza y suspira
Apolo botó la lira
Y Jesus Cristo me aplaudió
San Isidro y San Fernando
Mandaron a San Ignacio
Que construyera un palacio
Y el nombre mio llevara
Para que yo administrara
Y asombrado quedé yo
Y asombrado quedé yo
Del trato tan alagueño
Solo sin saber que sueño
Hacia el cielo me llevó

Y una vez me dormí...

Coro: Yo tuve un sueño feliz, y quise hacer una canción

Coro: Pa' que me mira con malos ojos, si malos ojos no mata a nadie

Singing voz tercera with Juan de Dios in 2001:

Singing "La Rana" in 2008:

1 comment:

john Santos said...

Guillermo "Negro" Triana was one of history's greatest rumberos - a true treasure trove of songs, traditions and melodies. I met him in 1990 in Havana while he was singing with the Coro Folklórico Nacional. He had a voice like water from an ancient spring that flowed effortlessly from song to song, making melodic and rhythmic improvisation look and sound extremely easy as he played the claves. I had the honor to work with him and the equally great vocalist Lázaro Rizo, and Octavio Rodriguez, on Pancho Quinto's last project, "Rumba Sin Fronteras" which was recorded in Berkeley, CA, and to hire him and Lázaro to sing several pieces (they were truly a dynamic duo) on the CD "La Mar " by John Santos and Omar Sosa in 2001 in San Francisco. I will always be honored by his friendship and fascinated by his voice and his skill as a rumbero mayor. Que en paz descanse.