The first Cuban music video clip

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The first Cuban music video clip

Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:21 pm

Hi everybody,

I just discovered this gem, uploaded by Rosa Marquetti:

The clip is from 1932. Fernando Collazo founded the Sexteto/Septeto Cuba in 1930, according to Helio Orovio, and his bongo player was the great Marino González a.k.a. "El Principe". I suppose that he is most likely the bongocero in this video. El Principe Marino was much admired by Mongo Santamaría and Armando Peraza, for example. He also played with the Conjunto Bolero and the Septeto Nacional. It's already hard to find or identify him on audio, also because back then, record companies habitually denied the backing musicians their credits. Here he is on video. You can also see how he tunes his drums over a lamp.

Cheers, Thomas
Thomas Altmann
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Re: The first Cuban music video clip

Postby KING CONGA » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:03 pm

This is excellent! Thank you.
Bongos are very likely to have been made by Mr. Candido Requena.
It's always interesting to see how these are tuned, tuning hardware was without a doubt a God sent, I do however, prefer the Bongo del Monte for Changui.
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Re: The first Cuban music video clip

Postby Chtimulato » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:07 pm

Nice find, Thomas.
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Re: The first Cuban music video clip

Postby Juaort » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:53 pm

Thanks for sharing Thomas!
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Re: The first Cuban music video clip

Postby Thomas Altmann » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:59 pm


I found out that Marino can be heard on this record: ... se/6483946 .
He is actually mentioned in the cover text by Odilio Urfé.

Marino played with the Nacional from 1959 to 1971. Presumably he is also on this record from 1965: ... e/10490194 .

The singers on both records are Embale, Bienvenido León and Núñez. They belong to the people who defined the style; it can't get any better. The first record from 1962 is great, and it has Piñeiro's most important numbers on it. It's a must-have. There is a Japanese reissue on the market; but I don't (want to) know how much it costs. Still, you could look for a download opportunity.

On the second record from 1965, Herrera, the trumpet player, was in his 60s, but to my ears he sounds older. Age can be an assh... to trumpeters. He actually played until his 90s, as far as I'm informed. At least he lived that long.
Marino, if we suppose it's him, is very well recorded on the second record, but often not to his favor. It sounds like he didn't wish to play as fast as the faster numbers on the record were, whatever the reason was. Also, his sound articulation could have been more differentiated, at least for my personal taste ... But of course my personal taste is pretty irrelevant, given that Marino was one of the founding fathers of modern bongó style, who played with the leading traditional Cuban son band for no less than 12 years.

Today, with the option of overdubbing and digital editing, I doubt that anybody would leave the trumpet and bongó tracks on the record like that ...


P.S.: On one of the tracks of the later record, I believe it was "Qué bonita es Cuba", the clave player switches the direction. I did not examine what the reason might have been. That was a rare incident in the history of this septeto for sure.
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