Cubans remember Juan Formell on the fifth anniversary of his death

Born on August 2, 1942 in Havana, Formell, arranger, bassist, and producer, founded Los Van en Van at the end of the 60s after being part of Elio Revé's orchestra.

Juan Formell junto a César Pupy Pedroso © Cubadebate
John Formell next to Caesar Pupy Peter Foto © Cubadebate

This article is from 4 years ago

Juan Formell, one of the greatest figures in the history of music in Cuba,has not stopped living in the memory of Cubans after his death exactly 5 years ago.

Born on August 2, 1942 in Havana, Formell, arranger, bassist, and producer, founded Los Van en Van in the late 1960s after being part of Elio Revé's orchestra.

With Los Van Van he created a distinctive rhythm, the songo, and became the most popular orchestra in Cuba with songs that are still sung and danced in any rumbón formed by Cubans anywhere in the world.

Several famous singers of Cuban music passed through the group, such as Pedrito Calvo, who was in the orchestra in one of its most beautiful and most popular periods.

Many still remember him with his wide hat, his guarachero Cuban gestures and his eternal friendliness with which he easily won the admiration of the public.

After his departure, Mayito Rivera joined the group, who also marked a very important stage in the career of Los Van Van, which brought together great Cuban musicians such as José Luís Quintana (Changuito) andCaesar Puppy Peter, others of its founders.

There were many songs by the orchestra that achieved enormous popularity. It is worth highlighting, among them, “The dance of the tired ox”, “Above the level”, “Havana can't take it anymore”, “Come on and move”, “La titimanía”, “And the black man has nothing”.

The group, after the death of its founder, has remained active with drummer Samuel Formell as director. Juan Formell's son recorded the album together with Tren de la Música Cubana in 2017Legacy, the first without the presence of Juan, whose last CD he worked on with the orchestra wasThe fantasy, recorded in 2014.

The album is a tribute to Juan Formell, and contains 14 songs that “follow the melodic line that marks the work of Los Van Van, the continuity of my father's work, and our followers will be able to enjoy the album because we did it under the responsibility of preserve that legacy,” Samuel said.

After the departure of its female singer par excellence, Jenny Valdés, the daughter of Juan Formell with the singer Mirtha Medina,Vanessa joined the group and is currently part of the orchestra's usual format., which features other musicians and singers of the stature of Abdel Rasalps “El Lele”, Roberto Hernández “Robertón”, Armando “Mandy” Cantero, and Jorge Leliebre.

When Formell died, the news shocked Cubans and thousands of people went to say goodbye to him on May 1, which dressed the music of the Antillean nation in mourning.

What do you think?


Filed in:

Do you have something to report?
Write to CiberCuba:

 +1 786 3965 689