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Sergio Rivero El Haitiano Ay Lola


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SERGIO RIVERO I was born in Santiago de Cuba but when I was quite young my mother, my sister and I were driven by poverty to move to Havana. In Havana I worked as a car body maker in a repair garage; during that time, in 1948, I wrote my first [...]

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Sergio Rivero El Haitiano Ay Lola


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SERGIO RIVERO I was born in Santiago de Cuba but when I was quite young my mother, my sister and I were driven by poverty to move to Havana. In Havana I worked as a car body maker in a repair garage; during that time, in 1948, I wrote my first composition. When my mother died I quit my job at the garage. I tried to get in touch with the music scene by offering my compositions to different orchestras; in those days I didn't anticipate that my decision to become a musician would bring me many different bitter experiences. For two years I was forced to live on the streets as I could no longer even afford a room. I slept in cars or wherever I could spend the night, until a kind person let me live in his garage. In 1956 I joined the "Super Colosal" orchestra although I knew this would not be an ideal start for me. But at least it was my first professional position as a musician. I was auditioned by MODESTO VÁZQUES, the boss of the radio station "Cadena Havana". I sang him my number "El Haitiano" a capella. He liked it very much and asked me to sing "El Haitiano" with the NENO GONZALES orchestra on the radio. That was in 1957 and and to this day I bear the pseudonym "El Haitiano".

In 1958 CARLOS ARGENTINO, with "La Sonora Matancara", recorded my song "A los Reyes Magos", a chachacha. This song became very popular, which meant a first wave of success for me. Each night I went to the "Club 21" and there I met ENRRIQUETA ALMANZA. She accompanied me on the piano one evening and we played "El Haitiano". The audience liked the number so much that from then on we performed together every night. One night we were playing in the Havana "Hilton" when GUILLERMO BARRETO introduced me to the outstanding vocalist GINA LEON. When she heard my performance she decided there and then to become my artistic mentor. She managed to open the door to television for me and landed me my first TV production. GUILLERMO BARRETO founded a group called "SHOW DE ARAU" just for this purpose. The members of this formation included: JUANITO MÁRQUES, KIKE HERNANDEZ SEMILLA, CHUCHO VALDÉS, GUSTAVO TAMAYO and JORGE VARONA. In 1963 I played for quite a long time at the "Salon Panoramico de Tropicana Cabaret". Then in 1964 I joined the "Los Zafiros" Quartet for a period of five months. With the recording of JOSE ROBLES' composition "Llueve que Llueve" and my composition "Anita Tun Tun" in 1965 I landed a great success, because both numbers became the hits of the 1966 carnival.

In 1968 I left the country without permission and was punished with three years imprisonment. I was let out in 1970. The recording of my composition "Jaraneando" by "El Conjunto Los Latinos" in 1975 became a big hit at the 1975 carnival. From then until 1980 I composed many melodies for the carnival such as "Ando Buscando Novia", "Si me Voy Pa' la Havana", "Que no me Empujen", "Quin Quin Quin Can", "Me Quedé Sin Chivo", "Pa‘ Na‘ Ma‘ Besarte", "Dices Tu Digo Yo", and many others. In 1980 I left Cuba as a political exile and emigrated to Spain with my wife and daughter.

In 1981 I recorded my first LP in New York entitled "Llego el Haitiano". Then in 1982 I visited Venezuela, as my songs "Anita Tun Tun" and "Llueve" were number one on all the radio stations; I even appeared on the TV show "Fantastico" in Caracas.
In 1983 I travelled to Columbia, where I worked for the "Carnival de Barranquilla". After the carnival in Barranquilla I journeyed on to Bogotá, where I participated in the TV productions "Donde nacen las canciones" and "El Show de Jimmy Segun". My most successful composition to date, "Anita Tun Tun", has gone all around the world and been performed by groups in many countries, including Mexico, central and southern America and France.


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