This event is part of a series in celebration of Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center’s 45th Anniversary.
Miramar (“look to the sea”) brings nostalgic love songs to a new audience and generation. They revive the bolero, a Latin American song form that can be compared to the classic American songbook, by following in the footsteps of the great troubadours of the 1950’s and 60’s. Their repertoire includes a mix of original and traditional classic songs from all the Americas, and are especially influenced by the two-singer “duo” tradition of Puerto Rico. They also include a selection of Greek songs that came out of a similar international song movement that paralleled the Latin American bolero revolution.
About Sylvia Rexach
In Puerto Rico, Rexach has attained cult status. Born in 1922 into a well-off family, Rexach was a self taught pianist and guitarist. A fiercely independent woman, Rexach eschewed the traditional path then available to women, and embraced the lifestyle of San Juan’s bohemia of which she became a central character. She began to compose and write poetry in her teenage years and went on to form the first Puerto Rican all female band, Las Damiselas. She contributed a regular column to El Diario de Puerto Rico, wrote radio skits in which she also acted and was one of the founders of SPACEM, the Puerto Rican Society of Authors and Composers.
Rexach sometimes performed her own songs accompanied by guitarist Tuti Umpierre but she never really considered herself a singer. Still, the one record we have of her singing her own songs is a masterpiece of raw emotion and intimacy, comparable in intensity to some of the work or Chavela Vargas or Violeta Parra .
Sylvia Rexach died in 1961, at the age of 39, from stomach cancer. Her songs have since become part or the Puerto Rican canon, but she remains mostly unknown outside of her native island.