The 100 years ago Havana was the scene of a resounding musical revolution that would change the taste of an era twenties were beginning and Cuba was still living the dream of the sugar boom money was pouring in and high society was building palaces and hiring figures like Caruso to perform in their theaters, while in the halls and dance academies of the capital the elegant danzon had no rival.
The son, who had been born at the end of the 19th century in the eastern hills, was viewed with reservations and considered to be of lower class people, but at that point the Habanero Sextet appeared dressed to the nines and turned the scene upside down, driving people crazy. the dancers.
The group arose from the breakup of the Oriental Quartet, which at the end of the previous decade cultivated with some success the son montuno made in the Eastern manner, with a tasty but somewhat rudimentary rhythm.
Fogueados in the warm sound of those primitive sounds, the composer and guitarist Guillermo Castillo, the tres player Carlos Godínez, Felipe Neri in the maracas and a leading singer named Gerardo Martínez, nicknamed El Príncipe for his impeccable way of wearing his suit and tie , founded an innovative sextet that would break schemes that magical year of 1920.
Along with them other musicians of respect, accompanied by instruments up to that time little valued for their folkloric status, such as the bongos, the botija.
Clave inseparable escorts of the guitar and the tres in a short time they were they would take over the musical scene by making a genre fashionable that swept all classes and unseated danzón.
The sextet soon replaced x with p and became a septet, introducing in 1927 a trumpet that for years would be that of the virtuoso Félix Chapottín, imposing a unique format and way of interpreting popular music that would make history.
“With the Septet Habanero began the reign of the son,” declared Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier , who was also a scholarly musicologist.
According to the Cervantes award, the Habanero had the merit of being the first to jump over the established barrier in the 1920s without complexes, helping to transform “the taste of an era”.