Monday, August 08, 2005

Nueva Trova - Noel Nicola (1946-2005)

Cuban trova musician Noel Nicola dies

Associated Press

HAVANA - Noel Nicola, one of the founders of modern Cuban trova music, has died of cancer, his friends said. He was 58.

The singer died in Havana Sunday and was buried on Monday at services in which many of Cuba's top folk singers sang together.

Silvio Rodriguez joined others in a rendition of one of Nicola's most famous songs - "Es mas, te perdono," or "Furthermore, I Forgive You."

Nicola was born in the Cuban capital Oct. 7, 1946, into a family of musicians. He was composing songs by the time he was 13 years old.

His first onstage performance came in 1968, next to Cuban greats Rodriguez and Pablo Milanes.

The trio and several others founded the modern Cuban trova movement - music has its roots in the troubadour ballads composed during the island's wars of independence. Modern Cuban trovas recall American protest songs of the 1960s and 1970s that focused attention on social problems through musical storytelling.

Nicola performed in more than 30 countries in Europe, Africa, and North and South America. He also spent some of his time composing music for movies and the theater.

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