Ruth Abreu

Born in La Palma, a small town in the province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. While barely three years old my parents move the family to Havana, Cuba’s capital. At seven years old, I enroll  in the Alejandro Garcia Cartula music conservatory to study piano where I remain for the next four years.

Following my high school studies, I enroll at the University of Havana majoring in music education. At the same time, I re-enter the Alejandro Garcia Cartula conservatory (now as an adult) to pursue an education as a vocalist and singer. At this time I encounter my first employment as a singer. With the help of others, I was able to secure an audition in the choir of the IRCT (Cuban Institute of Radio and Television) who at the time was seeking new members. I entered the choir as a second soprano. For the next year, I work alongside highly experienced members of the choir. This time allows me to develop my musical reading skills to a greater degree. I also get the opportunity to back-up such Cuban musical luminaries as Leo Brower and Rosita Fornes.

At this time I was twenty one years old and had been studying voice since the age of nineteen. While working in the IRCT choir, I continue my studies at the conservatory in the evenings and attend many auditions. Professionally, I continued to grow.

I entered a second choir titled ‘El Vocal Leo’ (Leo’s Vocal group), directed by Corina Campos. This group was based at the Garcia Lorca theatre, which also acted as the backup (understudy) group to the ongoing opera performances at said theatre. While working occasionally in a ‘traditional’ Cuban music quartet, and a larger ‘evening’ orchestra, I would also perform at various art, musical, and television shows in the general Havana area. This experience in Vocal Leo allowed me to become , in time, the lead soprano, with various opportunities as the female soloist. It was here that I chose to step forward as a soloist and break away from the choir.

The opportunity arrived in the form of a contract from the Turarte entertainment company, allowing me to work in the premier show at the ‘Rincon del Feeling’(the Feeling Nook) located at Havana’s famous St. John’s Hotel. This well-known night club usually hosts the best ‘bolero’ singers of the island. I get the chance to appear on the same stage as Omara Portuondo, Cesar Portillo de la Luz,Marta Valdez and others. I also get to back up the famous Peruvian singer Cecilia Noel, at her concerts in Havana, as well as other artists like Michito Rodriguez and Changuito.

At twenty two years young, I am preparing for my first European tour with a large ensemble that includes a full orchestra, singers and dancers. We commence the tour in the Italian peninsula under the auspices of the UNEAC. (the Cuban Union of Artists and Writers)

In Italy, I find not only the opportunity to present Cuban music concerts in the European continent, but also participate in one of  the most prestigious  conservatories in the  country, the Gioaccino Rossini de Pesaro. Due to the opportunity to enhance my vocal abilities and education with such fine and experienced Italian professors, I choose to remain in the country until the completion of those studies.

Upon completion of my studies at the conservatory, I enroll at the University of Bologna where I graduate with a master degree in Languages and Literature. At this time I also work with various Hispanic musical groups residing in Italy, most notably: Caffe Latino, Son de Cuba and Alma Latina. It is here that I share the stage with the ‘Caribbean Sound Orchestra’ well known for being the ‘house band’ at the world-renown Tropicana night club in Havana, for a run of fifteen years. Under the leadership of its director, Pedro Mena Peraza, they record one of my ‘singles’.

Not only do I continue to play latin music, but also delve in other styles such as ‘Latin Jazz’, ‘Motown’ with singer Irene Robbins of Detroit, with the Vince Valicelli quartet (Italian), with the musical company “Thiaso” and later form my own group “El Combo Marianao”.

With “El Combo Marianao” I embark on a series of concerts throughout Europe playing in such countries as Austria, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. These turn out to be the most important latin music festivals organized by those countries.

Currently the single “Buscandote” (Searching for You) on the cd “Salsa.it” has allowed us to establish ourselves as one of the leading musical entities in the Italian market. We have performed at the better known latin music festivals such as “Festival Cubamemucho”, “El  Festival del Latingarda”, “ The Cubagarden Festival”, and the “Latinoamericano Festival” among others. We’ve shared the stage with Hispanic luminaries such as Oscar d’ Leon, La India, Ray Perez, Pupy y los que son son, La Charanga Habanera and other artists.

The single “Buscandote”, shares a collaboration with Pedrito Calvo Jr. that is performed at many live concerts and it’s to be included in a future cd.