b. Antonio Gumersindo Garay y Garcia, 12 April 1867, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, d. 17 July 1968, Havana, Cuba. A talented guitar player, Garay was an early influence on Compay Segundo who would later declare: ‘The first person I heard playing guitar was Sindo Garay. He came to my home with a guitar. I liked the guitar.’ Garay’s repertoire incorporated not only the expected influence of Spanish music but was also redolent of the musical forms that came originally from France and which were heard throughout the island. Untrained though he was, Garay clearly possessed an acute ear and absorbed all the music that he heard, whether played professionally at concerts and the opera, or less formally in bars and at street corners. Among the song forms incorporated into Garay’s work are boleros, criollas, guarachas and bambucos. He wrote many songs, among them ‘Perla Marina’, ‘Mujer Bayamesa’, ‘Amargas Verdades’, ‘Te Equivocaste’, ‘Rays De Oro’ and ‘Lo Que Es Un Beso’.
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