Félix Reina

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Félix Reina_table_infobox_0

Félix ReinaFélix Reina_header_cell_0_0_0
Birth nameFélix Reina_header_cell_0_1_0 Félix Rafael Herrera AltunaFélix Reina_cell_0_1_1
BornFélix Reina_header_cell_0_2_0 (1921-05-21)May 21, 1921

Trinidad, CubaFélix Reina_cell_0_2_1

DiedFélix Reina_header_cell_0_3_0 February 10, 1998(1998-02-10) (aged 76)

Havana, CubaFélix Reina_cell_0_3_1

GenresFélix Reina_header_cell_0_4_0 Danzón, mambo, chachachá, boleroFélix Reina_cell_0_4_1
Occupation(s)Félix Reina_header_cell_0_5_0 Musician, bandleader, composerFélix Reina_cell_0_5_1
InstrumentsFélix Reina_header_cell_0_6_0 ViolinFélix Reina_cell_0_6_1
Years activeFélix Reina_header_cell_0_7_0 1940s-1998Félix Reina_cell_0_7_1
LabelsFélix Reina_header_cell_0_8_0 Victor, Panart, EGREMFélix Reina_cell_0_8_1
Associated actsFélix Reina_header_cell_0_9_0 Arcaño y sus Maravillas, Orquesta América, José Fajardo, Enrique Jorrín, Estrellas CubanasFélix Reina_cell_0_9_1

Félix Rafael Herrera Altuna (May 21, 1921 – February 10, 1998), better known as Félix Reina, was a Cuban violinist, arranger, music director and composer. Félix Reina_sentence_0

Since the mid-1940s, he was a member of many popular charangas, including Arcaño y sus Maravillas, Orquesta América and Fajardo y sus Estrellas. Félix Reina_sentence_1

In 1959, after Fajardo went into exile, he became the leader of his orchestra, the Estrellas Cubanas, which he directed until his death. Félix Reina_sentence_2

A prolific composer, his most performed danzones include "Angoa", "Los jóvenes del silencio" and "El niche". Félix Reina_sentence_3

In the 1950s, he primarily wrote chachachás and his bolero "Si te contara" became a standard of the genre. Félix Reina_sentence_4

Life and career Félix Reina_section_0

Born in Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba, Félix Reina began his musical studies with his father and with violin teacher Isidro Cintra. Félix Reina_sentence_5

After playing in local orchestras for some time, he moved to Havana in 1946, joining the charanga directed by flutist José Antonio Díaz. Félix Reina_sentence_6

Soon, he joined Arcaño y sus Maravillas, which was very popular at the time. Félix Reina_sentence_7

Directed by flutist Antonio Arcaño, cousin of Díaz, the orchestra featured musicians such as Israel López "Cachao", Orestes López and Ulpiano Díaz, which were responsible for the development of the danzón-mambo in the late 1930s. Félix Reina_sentence_8

At the time of Reina's arrival, the Maravillas were a mainstay of Havana's Radio Mil Diez, earning the nickname "La Radiofónica". Félix Reina_sentence_9

Reina soon contributed several danzones to the group's repertoire including "Angoa", "Los jóvenes del silencio" and "El niche". Félix Reina_sentence_10

The latter was covered by Machito and many other bands thereafter. Félix Reina_sentence_11

In 1950, Reina became a member of the newly formed Fajardo y sus Estrellas, he then directed his own orchestra for a short period of time before joining Orquesta América in 1954 at the height of the chachachá craze. Félix Reina_sentence_12

The América, directed by Ninón Mondéjar, was the group that pioneered the genre thanks to its first violin Enrique Jorrín. Félix Reina_sentence_13

After touring México with the América, Jorrín decided to stay in the country for some time with hiw own group, and Reina stayed with him. Félix Reina_sentence_14

In 1958, back in Cuba, Reina re-joined José Fajardo y sus Estrellas. Félix Reina_sentence_15

Both Jorrín and Fajardo were former members of the Maravillas, like Reina. Félix Reina_sentence_16

In June 1959, after touring Japan, Fajardo decided to stay in the United States on their way back to Cuba. Félix Reina_sentence_17

Reina and most of the musicians returned to Havana and began working without Fajardo. Félix Reina_sentence_18

With Reina as the new leader, the band was renamed Orquesta Estrellas Cubanas and would remain active for the rest of the 20th century. Félix Reina_sentence_19

In the 1960s, his bolero "Si te contara" was covered by singers in both Cuba and the United States, thus entering the Latin music repertoire, where it remains a popular song. Félix Reina_sentence_20

Among its notable performers are Antonio Machín, Elena Burke, Panchito Riset, Omara Portuondo, Rubén González and Diego el Cigala. Félix Reina_sentence_21

In 1962, "Vuela la paloma", composed by Reina, became a hit for Tito Rodríguez, and was later covered by Johnny Pacheco and others. Félix Reina_sentence_22

Reina died on February 10, 1998, in Havana's Calixto García Hospital, having suffered a stroke in his home in Vedado. Félix Reina_sentence_23

The Estrellas Cubanas continued performing, now under the direction of violinist Gilberto Valdés. Félix Reina_sentence_24

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Félix Reina.