Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Nieves Quintero

Nieves Quintero
11" x 8.5", 2013
ink, pencil, watercolor on paper
Manuel "Nieves" Quintero was born in 1931 in Nací en Corozal, Puerto Rico. He was still alive in 1999 when the biography Nieves Quintero was written. A master of the cuatro (a lute like instrument that looks like it was taken out of a 17th Century Dutch master's still life painting), he was living in Bayamón then, still playing his instrument. I would have never learned about Nieves Quintero were it not for the purchase at a thrift store of a record of Cuban lucumi music. Turned out that there was no Cuban lucumi record inside but in stead I found Santos Cantados con Nieves Quintero y Su Conjunto (Canta Luz Celeni Tirado) Y Coro inside. I was a bit disappointed not to have the lucumi record (especially after I found out it would sell for $185 on line) but then I came to like the substitude record as well, and now after learning more about Nieves, I wished I had had the cover for the Santos Cantados record. It's a lovely record indeed but Nieves Quintero on YouTube is where it's at. The video I found there of him performing Linda Campesina is simply magnificent. With so many Puerto Ricans living in the United States I knew at some point I would run in some traditional music records from there in some thrift stores here. The Nieves Quintero record was the best of seven from my haul last week.

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