On June 9, 1934, in Guanabacoa, Cuba, Luis “Tata” Guerra was born. Excellent Percussion Master with a Guinness World Record for having accompanied more orchestras live and in recordings.
A virtuoso musician, Luis Tata Guerra, member of a humble and hard-working family, is the last of 4 brothers, born of a musical tradition, his father played guitar, and his older brother Emerio Guerra is a guitarist in Havana.
He studied music and saxophone at the Salesian School of Guanabacoa. He learned to play the tumbadora, and the rhythms of Rumba and Guaguancó in his neighborhood in the 50s.
He joined the Almendra Orchestra in 1954, performing in the best nightclubs of the island. He rehearsed with Conjunto Casino and Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez.
In 1956 he arrived in Colombia with the Cuban Swing Orchestra, he stayed for 4 years working with the groups Sonera del Caribe and the Pepe Reyes Orchestra (Cuban singer). From there he went to Venezuela where he has lived since 1960.
Maestro Guerra has an extensive career as a musician for his activity in different groups such as: Los Melódicos, Víctor Piñero y sus Casiques, Aldemaro Romero, Chucho Sanoja, El Pavo Frank, and accompanying on percussion in Caracas Tito Rodríguez, Miguelito Valdez, Rolando Laserie, Daniel Santos, Olga Guillot, Rubén Blades, Paco de Lucia, including the Timbal King Tito Puente and many Others.
His compositions have been played in the media in Santo Domingo, Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela.
The composition “Son Matamoros” dedicated to this famous Cuban trio, was included in the movie “Salsa” with the participation of Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Grupo Niche and other values. He was a member of the VTV Orchestra (channel 8) for 23 years (1965-1991).
Member and Director of the trio Hermanos Rodriguez, in 1994 they traveled to the Canary Islands invited by President Hermoso, and are well known there for the hit “Son Canario” (composition by Guerra himself).
Again in 1999, they returned to the Canary Islands for more than 2 months, in addition to performing at the fabulous The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
He presented his program “RAICES CARIBEÑAS” on ANTV.
His fondness for acetate collection was recognized throughout Venezuela. A work with his conjunto became very popular and the voice of “Kiko” Mendive reminded us of the grilles and discómanos of Cali in the 80’s. “Barara Bururu”.
We also remember the time he shared with his compatriot Rafael “Felo” Bacallao Hernandez, who had retired from the Aragon orchestra.
With great regret we recorded on February 24, 2015, the unfortunate news of the death of Tata Guerra, four months shy of his 81st birthday, he had been suffering from an accelerated affection in his respiratory system, remaining hospitalized at the Florida Clinic in the city of Caracas, where in the early morning of that day he left us.
“When I listen to reggetón/ my heart stops/ because my thing is rumba and son”.
Por: Carlos Molano Gómez
Bogotá – Colombia
Derechos Reservados de Autor -primera publicación – 2016
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