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Fernando Alvarez

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b. 4 September 1928, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, d. 22 August 2002, Havana, Cuba. Singing from an early age, Alvarez performed with several popular bands in his home-town, including those led by Reinaldo Dambay, Pancho Portuondo and Mariano Mercerón; in the latter band he shared vocal duties with Pacho Alonso and Beny Moré. In the early 50s he was with Moré's band in Havana and also worked with Roberto Espi's Conjunto Casino. Alvarez's popularity increased and he was signed by Gema Records and enjoyed considerable success with Ernesto Duarte's "Ven Aquí A La Realidad", a recording that promoted his name overseas. Basing his repertoire in the classical Cuban songs of the 50s and 60s, Alvarez became a foremost interpreter of the genre and commanded the respect of his peers. Although his reputation remained highest in Cuba, where he performed live and appeared on radio and television, Alvarez also made regular visits to the USA where he built a good following.

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