May 8, 2009

Bola de nieve – The voice of feelings

bolaIgnacio Jacinto Villa Fernández, Bola de Nieve, was maybe one of the most charismatic singers of Cuba, an island that has a lot of talented musicians. He didn't have a really good voice, in fact, I think he wasn't a good singer at all. But the strength of his performances, and his expressive facial gestures, were a personal seal that I really liked when I saw an old recording in which he sang and played Ay mama Inés, a traditional Cuban song. His piano melodies were really good and very appreciated by artists like Rita Montaner, who gave him the nickname, or the legendary pianist Ernesto Lecuona, who admired him.

Drume negrita

Songs like Drume negrita are a proof of another remarkable feature of his style: a peculiar Afrocuban accent, particular of popular classes in La Habana. Edith Piaf, one of his admirers, said that Bola de Nieve's version of La vie en Rose was the best version ever.

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