Compay Segundo (18 November 1907 – Havana, 13 July 2003) was a Cuban trova guitarist, singer and composer.
Compay (meaning compadre) Segundo, so called because he was always second voice in his musical partnerships, was born Máximo Francisco Repilado Muñoz in Siboney, Cuba, and moved to Santiago de Cuba at the age of nine. His first engagement was in the Municipal Band of Santiago de Cuba, directed by his teacher, Enrique Bueno. After a spell in a quintet, in 1934 he moved to Havana, where he also played in the Municipal Band, on the clarinet. He also learned to play the guitar and the tres: these became his usual instruments. Compay Segundo was also the inventor of the armónico, a seven-stringed guitar-like instrument, created to eliminate a harmonic jump in the Spanish guitar and the tres. In the 1950s he became well known as the second voice and tres player in Los Compadres, a duo he formed with Lorenzo Hierrezuelo in 1947.
Los Compadres were one of the most successful Cuban duos of their time. Greater international fame came later, in 1997, with the release of the Buena Vista Social Club album, a hugely successful recording which won several Grammy awards. Compay Segundo appeared in the film of the same title, made subsequently by Wim Wenders...
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