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María Teresa Vera

María Teresa Vera


Guitar player, singer and composer.

María Teresa Vera was born in Guanajay, Havana, on February 6, 1895 and died in the capital on December 7, 1965. She has become an indispensable voice in the history of Cuban trova song.

María Teresa Vera began practicing the guitar with a tobacco roller named José Díaz. When she was fifteen years old she participated in a tribute paid to Arquímedes Pous (an important vernacular artist in the Cuban theater) at the Politeama Grande theater in Havana. At that time, she also sang with Rafael Zequeira as a duo and, when the trade of sound recordings began, they both traveled on different occasions to New York to record for a number of record companies. This was the disseminating means that launched them to popularity with famous songs like "Mercedes", "Longina", "Santa Cecilia" and many other songs composed by Manuel Corona, Rosendo Ruiz, Patricio Ballagas and Sindo Garay.

In 1924, when Zequeira passed away, María Teresa began performing either as soloist or occasionally accompanied by a troubadour. The most important Havana theaters "like the Alambra, Martí and Pairet" opened their doors to her in her native country. In 1926, she joined Miguelito García and, that same year, she traveled to New York together with his Occidente Sextet, with which she also recorded a number of sones.

In 1937, she joined Lorenzo Hierrezuelo thus creating a very popular duo which was actively performing for twenty five years. Together with Hierrezuelo, María Teresa Vera traveled to Mexico in 1954. Their success in the Aztec land was extensively reflected in the press during that period.

María Teresa Vera was a tireless promoter of Manuel Corona, Sindo Garay, Rosendo Ruiz and Miguel Companioni as well as of other trova representatives and, for many years, she worked in Havana radio programs devoted to the promotion of Cuban songs.

She was an excellent bolero and son singer and also a genuine performer of other genres. Likewise, she was a remarkable composer who handed down capital pieces to Cuban traditional music as her anthological song "Veinte años" or "Por qué me siento triste", "No me sabes querer", "Yo quiero que tú sepas", just to mention some of the great songs of her prolific creation.

In 1962, as a result of her sickness, she retired from music.