The University of Texas at Austin

Pavel Urkiza y Congrí Ensemble, Songs of Cuba: 1851–1941

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Pavel Urkiza y Congrí Ensemble
Songs of Cuba: 1851–1941

Presented in partnership with:
Ethnomusicology Department at the Butler School of Music
KUTX’s Horizontes
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies
Center for Mexican American Studies
Warfield Center for African and African American Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese

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Cuban guitarist and composer Pavel Urkiza leads his Congrí Ensemble through an evening of skillfully interpreted classic Cuban songs composed between 1851 and 1941. Songs of Cuba 1851-1941 is an exploration of the ancestral connections of music with songs that are part of Latin American popular heritage, learned and transmitted from generation to generation. Presented in a chamber format and accompanied by visuals from the era and historical narration, the pieces are performed on period acoustic instruments such as the romantic guitar, the mutto cornet, baroque flutes, and upright bass.

Pavel Urkiza has mapped an intricate musical network that spreads from the Middle East to Spain to Africa to Cuba and Latin America.

Miami Herald

Pavel Urkiza from Larutadelasalmas on YouTube.

Fun Facts:

  • Urkiza was born to Cuban parents on an educational mission in the Soviet Union in 1963 and raised by relatives in Havana.
  • Urkiza made a music documentary The Route of Souls, which illustrates the ancestral connections between the music of the Ibero-American region. He recorded and interviewed 85 musicians from different regions for the film.
  • He met his wife at one of his shows in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • One of Urkiza’s biggest influences was his grandmother Raquel Revuelta, an iconic actress in Cuban theater and film, who promoted a more flexible version of Marxism through the arts.
  • In 1990 he formed the duo Gema y Pavel, with the Cuban singer Gema Corredera. The duo traveled throughout the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe during their twenty years together.
  • Urkiza has composed music for theater and cinema, gaining recognition for his composition of the soundtrack of the Hispano-Cuban production Las Noches de Constantinopla, directed by Orlando Rojas.