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Info request: the Cuban 'tres'

keberoxu 18 Dec 16 - 06:54 PM
Jack Campin 18 Dec 16 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy 18 Dec 16 - 08:39 PM
leeneia 19 Dec 16 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy 19 Dec 16 - 06:44 PM
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Subject: Stringed instrument from Cuba
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Dec 16 - 06:54 PM

About the 'tres,' a guitar-like instrument that has double strings in three pairs, the Mudcat says only a little. There is a glut of posts about the 'tiple,' but not much about the 'tres.'

This Cuban instrument got my attention in the context of Inti Illimani's anniversary of 50 years in 2017, and the musicians and countries that are helping them in their celebrations.

It turns out that Francisco "Pancho" Amat, whose 'tres' specialty is well documented, goes back a long way with Chile in general and with Inti Illimani in particular. A Cuban native, he nevertheless connected with the participants of Chile's Nueva Cancion movement, and he knew Victor Jara.

Amat's is not the first generation, by far, of 'cultivadores' of the 'tres.' Before Amat, for example, there was the now-deceased Arsenio Rodriguez, whose name at birth in his native Cuba was Ignacio de Loyola Rodriguez -- desperately Catholic! A tragic injury to his head, as a child, rendered Rodriguez permanently blind. At least he spent much of his childhood imagining that somewhere in the world there was medical treatment advanced enough to restore his vision. When Rodriguez traveled, as a young man, to the United States, he consulted physicians and specialists, and the prognosis for his vision was nil: the damage was permanent and could not be corrected. I don't know if Rodriguez returned to Cuba or if he remained in the US from that point, but it was in Los Angeles that he died. His 'conjunto' with its appearances and recordings, and the music that he arranged for it, is described as a precursor to today's 'salsa' before it was called salsa music; and Rodriguez cashed in on the popularity of the mambo generations ago. Although his arrangements for band music highlight brass in general and trumpets in particular, the instrument that Rodriguez most played was the 'tres.'

And no doubt there is much, much more about this specialized instrument from this musically fecund nation. Please share what you all know.

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Subject: RE: Info request: the Cuban 'tres'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Dec 16 - 07:50 PM

Look on sites devoted to the cuatro - it often partners that. (Can't do much searching now, my internet is buggered).

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Subject: RE: Info request: the Cuban 'tres'
From: GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy
Date: 18 Dec 16 - 08:39 PM

Arsenio did go back to Cuba after learning that an operation wouldn't save his eyesight (1948). He left again for New York in 1951, with his brother, Kike, due to threats that were made upon Kike by Kike's victim's family after Kike was released from prison, where he was held for killing somebody in an attempt to protect his brother, Arsenio.

More information about the tres and Arsenio Rodrigues can be found if you listen to my series of radio programs called "Cuba in Motion". Lots of music as well as information. Episode 54 is all about Arsenio Rodrigues....and I also talk about the tres in that episode and others.

Cuba in Motion (podcast)

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Subject: RE: Info request: the Cuban 'tres'
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Dec 16 - 04:26 PM

Here's a video where the tres is played. It has a penetrating sound.

Note the interesting gadget over the sound hole.

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Subject: RE: Info request: the Cuban 'tres'
From: GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy
Date: 19 Dec 16 - 06:44 PM

Here's Leeneia's link.

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Mudcat time: 19 December 9:29 AM EST

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