No masks, no concessions

Passion and constant work are two concepts that Gretel Cason perfectly describes. These two ingredients always go well with each other, as they are the guarantee of the success of any creative endeavor. We are talking about an artist who has conquered various branches of the Cuban performing arts: from theater to music, through musical theater, as well as directing and conducting television spaces.

From the teachers who helped her to study in art schools, she chose the best, starting with the teacher Maria Eugenia Barrios, who taught her love for well-made music and being in demand. This relationship was complemented by acting lessons from his teacher, Ariel Bose, who instilled in him a curiosity and interest in a variety of registers, from writing a screenplay, turning on the lights, or directing a production.

And that’s what Gretel Cason has dedicated herself to: she’s simply creating art and giving it her all in order to embark on a journey that allows her to connect with her audience and offer them a piece of who she is. That’s for sure like a lark (Abdala Productions, 2023), his latest piece of music, which has just been nominated for the Cubadisco 2023 award in the Song and Graphic Design categories.

“This is an album that is touring America. It starts in the morning, with warmer sounds, and ends at night, at dawn, to become more romantic, intimate. That is why the bolero could not be missing in combination with other genres of Latin American popular music,” says the translator, who also defends the minimalist, transparent and simple nature of the new phonogram.

– How did you plan the trip that you offer in this material?

– In this curatorship, Gaston Hoya played an important role as a producer and Jorge Rodriguez, a repertoire with extensive experience. The album is like a serenade at a Latin American party, in which there are many sounds, nuances, without losing, of course, a romantic touch. We chose plucked strings for this because guitar and voice are primary in the genesis of song in Latin America.

“In almost all areas of the continent, many people, sometimes without musical education, have a guitar or a plucked string instrument and use it to fall in love, celebrate, sing their sadness: it is an instrument of the people, troubadours and romantics. , and that is why we decided that this is material with such an intimate characteristic, appealing to the roots, to folklore, to the troubadour.

“I am fortunate to be accompanied by wonderful performers, starting with Maestro Barbarito Torres on lute, Carlos Ernesto Varon on classical guitar, Héctor Quintana and Nam San Fong on electric guitar, Los Embajadores trio and others. This is an album that has joropo, guarani singing, chile melody, tango and various aspects of bolero and song.

“I am a Cuban singer and therefore I am a proud Latin American singer and I also took this homage to what we are as a culture, as a journey to continue expanding the musical perspective that included versions of Sindo Garay, Agustín Lara, Osvaldo Farres, Cesar Portillo de la Luz, José Antonio Mendez and many others who have become part of the soundtrack of my life.”

Cuban muse

Gretel Cason defines herself as a romantic bohemian artist and old soul. “There is something about Esther Borja, Bola de Niev, Luis Carbonella, Rita Montaner, Libertad Lamarck, Javier Solis that surrounds me and partly influences who I am as an artist,” says the theater and television actress, who after a notable career in these media, including musical theater, has found in the memories imposed by the pandemic, the desire to interpret the songs of different authors, even recording their own soundtracks.

The first one was blue rumba (Abdala Productions, 2021), where the artist performs pieces from the Cuban musical repertoire of such greats as Ernesto Lecuona, Rodrigo Prats, Marta Valdes and Amory Pérez. “I wanted to interpret them from now on, for people of my generation, as well as for those who remembered them from previous generations, even for the youngest ones. I worked with Gaston Joya and his vision in terms of jazz, with popular modern elements.”

Casón shares all of these songs with his audiences in live concerts, as well as on tours in Cuba and beyond, which he performs as a trio with Cuban muses – voice, percussion and piano – and which recently led them to a series of presentations in Mexico. where they received public and critical acclaim. The actress and singer finds a common language with her audience, showing her truth and emotions that accompany the song genre. “I can’t sing a song that I didn’t understand or didn’t learn before, immediately and naturally. What I sing is what I say, as if I were acting it out using certain melodies and paths of musical notes that respond to emotions.

“When we speak or when we act, we use the rhythm of the music to a certain extent, and when we sing, we use the meanings of what we say and the emotions of the notes that are emitted at that moment, so this could not separate the performance from the musical interpretation. ”, says the artist, whose taste for art comes from a very young age.

The daughter of a teacher and a lawyer, Gretel Cason does not forget about her regular visits to the theater with her mother. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else: to the theater every Sunday. In my house, besides, they listened to a lot of music. I grew up surrounded by grandparents who listened to Los Zafiros, Esther Borja, Barbarito Diez, Elena Burke, the Aragón orchestra on a turntable at family celebrations. Imagine, it was very nice for the girl.

Without knowing it, the great artist forged with a special aesthetic flair. Today, in addition to the two phonograms she produced – her repertoire of interpretations is more extensive – she is the creator and host of the programme. in rajatablas, broadcast by Canal Habana and Cubavisión Internacional, where he interviews current colleagues and one who is already preparing his fourth season. In addition, we enjoyed their characters in soap operas such as We are hereunder the direction of Rafael “Cheíto” González, or Youconducted by Lester Hamlet. And his prominent role in musical theater, in works such as Cabaret.

But Gretel still has much to offer us from her art, her naturalness and human simplicity, but, above all, her music. “I have always done what I thought was right. Of course, a person grows up by learning, but without ceasing to be true to himself and what he likes. The music I make is exactly what I want to share with you because it is also considered part of who I am. blue rumba And like a lark They are that, a reason to present yourself as I am, without masks and concessions.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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