Maylin Legañoa

Maylin Legañoa

Willy Chirino in his office. Photo: Sarabanda Productions

Willy Chirino: “I feel tremendous nostalgia for Cuba”

We went into an office with an eclectic décor that still owed much to the colonial style. On the wall, the acknowledgements received over nearly 50 years mixed perfectly with family photos and a guitar that seemed a witness to every word, gesture and expression. Serene and with a very soft tone of voice, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter and winner of the 2014 Latin Grammy Music Excellence Award, Willy Chirino, the music legend, was today another Cuban émigré telling us of his life, his experiences, his successes and his nostalgia. Wilfredo Jose Chirino, born in Pinar del Rio. If we consider how popular your music is in the Spanish-speaking market, we could say you’re a world-renowned Cuban. Singer, composer and producer…tell us about your first steps in the music industry. I arrived from Cuba with a tremendous interest in music. Back in my hometown, I played percussion with musicians from the neighborhood, but I had never sat in front of a set of drums or anything like it. That didn’t stop me from telling my friends I was a drummer. I did have my own set in my bedroom. I used a book to hold up the dishes and the sticks...

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