Piano given to Fidel as a gift, treasure in Cuban provincial hall

Piano given to Fidel as a gift, treasure in Cuban provincial hall
Fecha de publicación: 
15 May 2024
Imagen principal: 

The Stained Glass Hall of the Revolution Square Mayor General Antonio Maceo Grajales, in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, preserves since 2023 a piano given to Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz by the Japanese manufacturer Sakai.

Produced in the that Asian nation, the instrument is the last of a series of eight inspired by the sound of Latin jazz and the art of Cuban musician Chucho Valdes, a design without precedent for the interpreters of the genre.

As the creative process progressed, the outstanding artist Alberto Lescay Merencio was chosen to paint the covers, as his vision of Caribbean culture and talent for portraying the most autochthonous aspects of Cuban culture coincided with the designer's inspiration.

Cuban artist was welcomed in Okinawa, the Japanese city where the creator's studio is located, with this project, and he poured his talent into each one of the exclusive pieces.

According to the artist, the reflection of the Sierra Maestra mountain range in the eighth piano motivated the decision to give it as a gift to the Historical Leader of the Cuban Revolution, as it paid homage to the feats of freedom initiated by the Mambises and continued by him in the second half of the 20th century.

Gilberto Guerrero Lopez, director of the monumental Cuban squuare, stated the instrument arrived in Cuba in 2016, and relatives of the Commander in Chief symbolically received the present, played at the Julio Antonio Mella Theater in Havana during the 32nd edition of the International Jazz Plaza Festival.

During the event, he assured, renowned Cuban and foreign musicians gave life to the best of the genre through each key, and delighted the public with their art for several nights.

In 2023, Lescay Merencio was in charge of the restoration and subsequent transfer to the Hero City of the peculiar piece, praised by specialized critics as of high musical quality, and until then kept in the Havana cultural institution.

A singular concert in March this year was the date chosen to delight the ears of music lovers once again, as its sound flooded the Stained Glass Hall at the hands of pianist Jose Maria Vitier, in the context of the Pepe Sanchez Trova Festival.

Because of its symbolism, the piano remains in the place where the revolutionary leader's ashes were laid to rest hours before being transferred to the Santa Ifigenia Heritage Cemetery.

Registered under the Seibu Pianos brand, it treasures history and art, and its preservation in one of the halls of the sculptural-monumental complex opened by Fidel himself in 1991, is an eternal tribute to his memory.

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