Grupo Campesino de Aguilar

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Lovers of Cuban music are allowed to daydream about the Grupo Campesino de Aguilar, an ensemble which, unfortunately, ceased performing in 1970 following decades of apparent championships in the realm…
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Lovers of Cuban music are allowed to daydream about the Grupo Campesino de Aguilar, an ensemble which, unfortunately, ceased performing in 1970 following decades of apparent championships in the realm of the traditional style known as punto guajiro, or alternately punto Cubano. This genre of music involving both singing and accompaniment on a variety of picking axes -- and this slang is not meant to suggest a road crew working its way across the Cuban island -- dates back to at least the 17th century and an influx of immigrants from the Canary Islands whose cultural background included Andalusian music.

A punto guajiro group involves the lovable teaming up of complementary stringed instruments that are used in Cuban music. These include the lute, known as a "laud" in Cuba, the tiple, and of course the Spanish guitar. The founder of Grupo Campesino de Aguilar was Alejandro Aguilar, whose instrumental specialty was the laud. This performer's real name was Pedro Betancourt, an identity he was presented with in the spring of 1906 but apparently wasn't happy with, otherwise this ensemble might have been called "Grupo Campesino de Betancourt." The previously mentioned act of road building came in handy for the ensemble, which sounded sweet under any name and hit just about every possible venue in Cuba during its existence. The laud maestro and group leader is not the same Alejandro Aguilar whose photography has been featured on albums of Latin music.