Singer and composer.
Antonio Fernández, internationally known as Ñico Saquito, was born on January 17, 1902 in Santiago de Cuba. At an early age, he was employed as metal casting worker. When he was 15 years old he learned guitar by himself and began his career as a troubadour.
Ñico Saquito´s nickname came from his ability as a baseball player when, during one game, one of his fans commented that Ñico was a great fielder who never missed a ball, so he seemed to have a "small sack" ("saquito") instead of a baseball glove in his hand.
Initially, Ñico Saquito integrated de Castillo Quartet ; in the 1940s he joined the Guillermo Mozo's Oriental Typical Group and performed at the Montmartre exclusive cabaret, in Havana. Since then he frequently performed at the RHC Cadena Azul and Radio Cadena Suaritos radio stations.
Between 1950 and 1960, due to political reasons, Ñico Saquito was forced to move to Venezuela. Aft erwards he returned to Cuba and continued his prolific creative work.
Ñico Saquito is the author of musical pieces like "Cuidaíto Compay Gallo", "María Cristina", "Al vaivén de mi carreta", "Jaleo", "Yo no escondo a mi abuelita " and "No dejes camino por vereda."
He is considered the top representative of the guaracha genre, whose structure is linked to the son, and whose main characteristic feature is the prevalence of funny situations put into music. The texts of the songs composed by Ñico Saquito are hilarious and resort to a picaresque language and double sense impregnated with the finest native humour.
Many of his songs have been present in repertoires of great Cuban artists such as the "Ignacio Piñeiro" Septet, Benny Moré, Celia Cruz and Compay Segundo; as well as in those of foreign artists like Cheo Feliciano and Oscar D´ León. The new generations of Cuban musicians are also nurtured by the creative work source of Ñico Saquito, a practice seen in the repertoires of NG La Banda and Adalberto y su Son, among many other important orchestras, which have interpreted some of his compositions.
Ñico Saquito, a universal Cuban, died on July 4, 1982.