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date: 25 January 2020

Flores, Pedrolocked

  • Lise Waxer

Extract

(b Naguabo, March 9, 1894; d Puerto Rico, July 13, 1979). Puerto Rican bandleader and composer. He was a schoolteacher in his native Puerto Rico, then moved to New York City in 1926, when small trios and quartets were forming on its Latin music scene to perform romantic boleros and other Cuban genres such as son and guaracha. In 1928, despite no prior musical training, Flores established his own group, the Cuarteto Flores which, through the 1930s, became internationally famous, with vocalists such as Davilita, Alfredito Valdes, Chenco Moraza and Daniel Santos. Flores was a prolific composer, writing such classics as Obsesión, Amor perdido, Perdón, Irresistible, Despedida, Bajo un palmar, Toma jabon pa’que laves and the patriotic Sin bandera. His arrangements were strongly influenced by the predominant Cuban style of the day, with heavy percussion and catchy riffs. While Flores lacked the skills and sophisticated compositional style of his contemporary and life-long rival Rafael Hernández, his songs had a broad appeal among working-class Latin Americans for their depictions of everyday life and ordinary people. See also R. Glasser: ...

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