1920 – 1975
Who was Cascarita?
Orlando Guerra [gayr'-rah] was a popular Cuban singer, specialized in native musical forms such as guaracha, pregón and son montuno. Affectionately nicknamed Cascarita, he was born on September 14, 1920 in Camagüey, the third-largest city of Cuba and the capital of Camagüey Province.
Guerra started his professional career in his native Camagüey and Havana in the early 1940s, and made his name singing in the orchestras of Hermanos Palau and Julio Cueva. The owner of a highly personal style of vocalizing, he had an interesting sense of ease and graceful fluency to improvise, particularly interpreting guarachas, which gained him an important place in Cuban popular music history. He also became popular for his extravagant costumes and tangled sayings.
In 1943, Guerra recorded with the Orquesta Siboney of Pepito Torres in Puerto Rico. Soon after, when fellow countryman singer Miguelito Valdés departed to the United States, Guerra replaced him in the Casino de la Playa orchestra. It was through his personal recommendation that Dámaso Pérez Prado obtained the job of arranger-pianist of the orchestra. For those years, Pérez Prado had been blacklisted in Cuba from working as an arranger because his charts were "bizarre" and weird, according to many local musicians. He had gone about as far as he could working for Casino de la Playa, as Cascarita was more popular than the band. The records no longer came out under the title "Casino de la Playa, singing Cascarita", but "Cascarita accompanied by Casino de la Playa".
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- Sep 14, 1920
- Also known as
- Orlando Guerra
- Lived in
- Mexico City
on July 23, 2013