Faustino Oramas, El Guayabero

Faustino Oramas Osorio, troubadour, singer of sones and guarachas, better known as “El Guayabero” was born on January 4, 1911 in the City of Holguin.

The Oramas family lacks a musical tradition and the young Faustino Oramas was forced to learn music completely self-taught. Although his first job was in a printing press, the charm of music soon claimed him.

Faustino Oramas, at the age of 15, started with the La Tropical sextet as a singer and playing the maracas, where he knew how to collect the best of the Creole tradition, provide it with rhythmic beats and add mischievous improvisations.

Precisely from those distant times comes his best-known composition from 1938, and from there even his nickname of El Guayabero; He loved to tell the anecdote: «They call me that thanks to a brunette. Or rather a jealous husband from a little place in the East called Guayabero, where I went to sing to earn a living and almost found death. She was attentive to me and the people at the bar spread the gossip to her husband, a brutal guard from before. Well, why tell? I went out hanging out with the musicians and on the way the song came out," which says in its chorus "In Guayabero, mom, they want to hit me! / In Guayabero, mom, they want to give me!

After this composition was created, «nothing more and nothing less than Pacho Alonso asked Faustino Oramas himself for this song. First he recorded it with Los Bocucos and then he put it together with his orchestra and took it to tour the world in the 60s.

It was then that El Guayabero was born for the people. Later, the CMKO station, which broadcast a live program from Holguín, opened a space for the guarachas and the authentic Creole repertoire of Faustino Oramas.

Faustino Oramas, of humble origin, but always inclined to elegant dress and good appearance, singularized the image of the troubadour dressed in a colorful suit, tie and cantonié hat, which was fashionable in Cuba in the decade of 1920-1930, plus the inseparable guitar under the arm.

However, the true values of this town artist, his contribution to the rescue of the musical roots of the City of Holguin and the troubadour tradition and legitimate contributions to musical humor, were not recognized until after the triumph of the revolution in Cuba.

Faustino Oramas, awarded with the distinctions: Félix Varela, For National Culture, The Ax of Holguin, symbol of the City of Holguin, the Shield of the City of Holguin and the 2002 National Humor Award, which he proudly displays on the jacket front, he mischievously says that people add double meanings to his interpretations.

But despite so many recognitions, there was no institution in the City of Holguin especially dedicated to paying well-deserved tribute to the greatest minstrel and his music, until the Directorate of Culture in the province of Holguin decided to dedicate the Casa de la Trova to him, which since then it is called El Guayabero.

This incredible and unforgettable master troubadour and minstrel from Holguin, as Silvio Rodríguez classified him, and remembered by all Cubans, died at the age of 95 in the City of Holguin, his hometown, due to a painful illness “cancer.” ”.

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