Juan Arrondo, the Bohemian Troubadour

Cuban composer Juan Arrondo resembles a fictional character, in that during his entire life he carried a guitar under his arm singing his songs with inexhaustible inspiration

Were it not for the fact that he was known by many of his compatriots, one might think that Juan Arrondo was a fictional character spending his life carrying a guitar under his arm, singing inspirational songs sourced from an inexhaustible spring.

Juan Arrondo is a composer from Guanabacoa who – oddly – was born in Regla, the neighboring municipality, on calle Ambrón, May 14, 1914.

When he was three the family moved to calle Martí, in Guanabacoa, and the future troubadour developed amid the comings and goings from one town to the other.

In 1929 he was already connected to several groups that played the son (sextets and septets), and more or less around those days he wrote his first well-known song, Estela, dedicated to a friend’s sister. Later he wrote Mi soberbia, Palomita and El son de Marianao, which had limited distribution. Those were the times when ...

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