Gerardo Alfonso

Gerardo Alfonso… Havana lives in its songs…

Last modified: March 23, 2023

The famous Cuban singer-songwriter Gerardo Alfonso, a member of the Nueva Trova of the 1980s, has been influenced as a composer by the likes of Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, as well as by Brazilians Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento. Although his music takes its inspiration from many other genres of Cuban music, including rock. His creations include the Guayasón rhythm (melodic elements of peasant and Afro-Cuban music) as well as the O`Changa.

Gerardo Alfonso (Havana, November 1, 1958) learned to play guitar and piano in a self-taught way, and in 1980 he joined the Nueva Trova movement, although he has developed a musical/artistic work that goes beyond the traditional troubadour and blends into the vast panorama of contemporary Cuban music, as one of the most covered composers today. His music is expressed in almost every possible genre. He’s the author of almost a hundred songs, some of which are very popular in our island and even beyond our borders. We can mention among them: Yo te quería María (1986), Sábanas blancas (1992), Como si fuera un gato (1986), Habana llena de gente (1988), Habana, dulce locura (2005) and Lo que Dios te dio (2007). His lyrics are tinged by a fluid, wise, appealing and grammatically careful writing, as can also be appreciated in his piece entitled Son los sueños todavía (1996), dedicated to commander Ernesto Che Guevara, much requested in all his concerts.

Throughout his career, he has been accompanied by his inseparable guitar, but for almost five decades, he included the piano as an accompanying instrument, which has further diversified his work as a troubadour. In his long and fruitful artistic career, he also worked with various accompanying groups with whom he recorded countless albums, and was also accompanied by symphony orchestras in Cuba and Italy.

Throughout his extensive artistic career, he wrote one of the most illustrative songs ever dedicated to Havana: Sábanas Blancas (White Sheets), which is almost a hymn to our capital, as it is already part of major anthologies of Cuban music of all times in different parts of the world. It has even been included in various European documentaries about the city of Havana, and has been used for various social and cultural purposes, as an allegorical theme for the Havana Biennial of plastic arts in 2000, and for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Villa de San Cristobal de La Habana, among many others.

The famous artist, with more than 30 years of artistic career, has received several nominations and Cubadisco prizes, and his work extends to television and cinema, contributing works to soundtracks, television presentation themes, works that have been present on Cuban television for many years. He sang three songs in the film Hoy como ayer, a Cuban-Mexican co-production by director Rapi Diego, and also worked as an actor and on the soundtrack of the german film La risa de Ochún and in the Cuban-basque film Calor. He has published two books: an autobiography in which he recounts his career entitled Son los sueños todavía, published in Berlin, Germany (2013). The second one is an anthology of songs entitled Sábanas blancas y otras canciones. (Antología 1980/2012), more than 100 songs grouped by five-year periods and a selection of songs to Havana.


His extensive discography includes titles such as Los lobos se reúnen (1993), on EGREM. Cuba, (tape); Sábanas blancas (1995), Bis Music, under license EGREM. CUBA;  Almendares vivo. Gerardo Alfonso/Frank Viehweg/Tobías Thiele (1999), (live guitar and piano), Cuba sí. Germany; Gerardo Alfonso. A guitarra limpia (1999) (live guitar), MTM Ltda. Colombia/Centro Pablo de la Torriente Brau; Recuento (2000) (recorded in la Casa de las Américas, september 1997. Inaugurated the record label Casa) (live guitar), Sello Casa. Casa de las Américas, Cuba; El ilustrado Caballero de París (2001), EGREM, Cuba; Momentos (2002), Sello Unicornio, Abdala Studios, Cuba; No me mires tan extraño. A guitarra limpia (2002) -Recording of the concert within the framework of the Cubadisco Fair, may 2001-, (live guitar), Centro Pablo de la Torriente Brau, Cuba; Las cosas que yo te cuento (2003), Sello Bis Music, Cuba;  Raza (2004), Sello Bis Music, Cuba; Cuarto de siglo  (2006) (live guitar), Cuba sí, Germany/Centro Pablo de la Torriente Brau; A orillas del mar (2006), Colibrí Production/Instituto Cubano de la Música; La cima  (2009), Bis Music Production, Cuba; Leyendas camagüeyanas (2010), label EGREM…

Toni Piñera
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Journalist for more than 30 years at the Granma newspaper, art and dance critic, professor at the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, curator of Cuban art exhibitions (former director of the La Acacia gallery, Havana), poet.

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