Argentine artist donates unpublished material about Nicolas Guillen

Buenos Aires, jan 7.- A vinyl record with recordings by poet Nicolas Guillen and handwritten letters from his correspondence to perform recitals in Argentina was donated to Cuba by the outstanding lyric singer Roberto Britos.


‘Guillen was very kind,’ said the 92-year-old Britos in a very low voice and with great emotion, as he handed over to the first secretary of academic affairs and human rights at the Cuban embassy, Magda Arias, the heritage he treasured from the author of Songoro Cosongo during his stay in Buenos Aires.

With zealous rigor, the singer’s son, researcher Marcos Britos, dedicated himself in recent years with his father to organizing the heritage that he carefully preserved from the Cuban National Poet when he was barely 30 years old.

He said that with his father they worked together and part of his patrimony was bequeathed to the National Institute of Musicology, where he worked for 10 years, among other donations.

The singer, who performed on stages such as the Teatro Colon, met Guillen in 1958 in Buenos Aires and at that time he was a representative of musicians and artists.

A long-lasting album, identified as Nicolas Guillen’s handwritten work, with no details of the company that recorded it or recordings of date and place, with recordings of the poet reciting and singing himself and percussion accompaniment in some cases, is one of the belongings that Britos donated to the island.

He also handed over 11 handwritten letters and typed copies on 23 pages dated between August 14, 1958 and January 10, 1959, of the mail with his former partner, Luis Pujan, which refer to the conversations held with Guillen to represent him in recitals in Argentina.

His work as an artist’s representative led Britos to meet the creator of ‘Motivos de Son’ several times with the aim of giving recitals here. It was then that on one of those opportunities he gave him the album as a tool for the diffusion of his performances.

In those last months of 1958 a tour had been planned for April of the following year but it didn’t take place because after the triumph of the Revolution, Guillen returned to his homeland.

That same year, says Britos, my personal life took a turn as a lyric singer, abandoning the activity of artistic performances. Guillen’s record and letters have been archived ever since.

This will allow us to know some moments of the poet in Buenos Aires shortly before his definitive return to Cuba and adds an album that may be the first recorded by Guillen, he notes in the record that he delivered along with the valuable objects to the homeland of the creator of ‘El son entero.’ (Prensa Latina)