The Trovuntitis is one of the groups of larger size, recognition and quality in the panorama of contemporary Cuban music. But these attributes didn’t come from heaven. The truth is that these young musicians, based in the city of Santa Clara, have stayed in the tracks on the so-called “smart song” with high creative proposals in which poetry and music come together in a natural way. They excel too on stage in the iconic Cultural Center El Mejunje, a space of artistic freedom located in the heart of Santa Clara and commanded by that inspiring being that answers to the name of Ramon Silverio.
Throughout last year Trovuntitivis celebrated 15 years in style: they launched a tour across Cuba and traveled to Argentina where they received flowers from the pages of several newspapers and captured the audience’s applause.
Troubadour Raúl Marchena is a mainstay of this group. The musician, who also serves as an audiovisual producer, is part of the line up along with Roly Berrio, Alain Garrido, Yaima Orozco, Leonardo Garcia, Yordan Romero, Karel Fleites, Diego Gutierrez and Michel Portela.
While Trovuntivitis is already a full-fledged band, for this troubadour the ensemble has continued to be a group of friends getting together to play at The Mejunje with the same freshness with which they used to do in their homes.
Shortly after returning from Argentina Marchena talked to OnCuba and reviewed several of the moments that made of Trovuntivitis into that vital group for the continuity of the Cuban trova and put on the map the work of the young singers of the Island.
How has the evolution of the band during these 15 years?
"First we were along the Enserie trio a few troubadours and friends at the Tacones Lejanos bar of El Mejunje. Then the audience was growing and we moved outside. Today we have a tremendous show every Thursday and has ramifications for other spaces in which Trovuntivitis members, individually or in group, perform".
What do you think has allowed you to consolidate as a group?
"The luck of having El Mejunje, the luck of having the amazing public of Santa Clara, the luck of being friends for many years before we started the show."
Currently Trovuntivitis enjoys some recognition in the Cuban media but before it was not like that. How do you remember the beginnings of the band in the Santa Clara scene, when perhaps some didn’t believe in its success?
"In the national media maybe not. But I believe in Santa Clara we have always been welcomed and promoted. But we have suffered for not having good recordings but always in our province we have found great encouragement. Even before the rise of the show, the Trio Enserie was on the radio in Santa Clara. Also the works of Alain Garrido and Diego Gutierrez had already been recorded in the Provincial Radio. Nationally speaking is another thing. "
At one point in its career the group began a short-lived show at the Mella Theater in Havana to the delight of its supporters in the capital. What happened that you could not keep it?
"That was an idea that we are very grateful to those who proposed it. But it became difficult to maintain as other institutions that should have support the project more enthusiastically simply did not. It would be really good to do that. Maybe in a smaller space”
There is not an “official” album of group yet. Why is that?
"Because record labels are not interested. We’ll have to do it ourselves and when it is already done the discoverers of any birth will show up"
What is success for the group? Don’t you believe that your work as musicians can be relegated to the shows at El Mejunje?
"While to the above questions where you’re referring to the Trovuntivitis group I have answered you without contradicting the issue of being a group, now I must clarify something. Trovuntivitis is not a group. I prefer to say collective or something. We do concerts together but each has its career independently and with different levels of commitment: some have music as only occupation, others do other things. Trovuntivitis is the show. We are the troubadours of the Trovuntivitis. As members of that space we perform elsewhere as collective-group. But it can have different heads at every concert we do. "
How was the tour of Argentina?
"It was a very nice tour through Argentina. It is unbelievable that we have achieved it. It is difficult to move so many people, to get the resources, that so many of us could do it. The public always responded very well. In the two main presentations in the La Mascara theater of Buenos Aires, coincidentally two Thursdays, the reception was very warm. We filled the room and some were left out (what a shame and what a joy to know that we need a bigger room).
The Trovuntivitis was recognized by the Confederation of Workers of Argentina, an organization with which we have worked for a long time in cultural activities. We were also declared of cultural interest by the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires. Interestingly we started to function as a group outside Cuba. All this is proof that we were received with great affection in Argentina ".
What other projects you have to celebrate "the 15" of Trovuntivitis?
Start turning 16.