Goodbye to José Luis “Pepe” Guerra, half of Los Olimareños | The Uruguayan musician died on Thursday the 13th at the age of 80

Goodbye to José Luis “Pepe” Guerra, half of Los Olimareños | The Uruguayan musician died on Thursday the 13th at the age of 80
Goodbye to José Luis “Pepe” Guerra, half of Los Olimareños | The Uruguayan musician died on Thursday the 13th at the age of 80

Of the two, who sometimes seemed like one, he was perhaps the most daring. While Braulio López, the other Olimareño, never distanced himself from the rich essence of the duo, José Luis “Pepe” Guerra He looked for other paths. She tried, at least. Well into his exile due to the Uruguayan dictatorship, for example, he started singing tangos, as recorded in Conversing with tango, album published and welcomed in Spain. He then weathered the separation of the duo at the dawn of the ’90s through albums such as He who sows his corn, Heart of the south, either Gardel, post, post, which did not necessarily mark an aesthetic continuation with its past. Rather, an autonomous way of doing things. Made of tango, but also of the very varied ways he had of approaching milongas, candombes, chamarritas, or any other Creole genre he faced. War, which He died on Thursday the 13th at the age of 80.he even had pride that was unusual in musicians from inland, such as being happy to be told that he was a Uruguayan Rolling Stone.

For this reason, despite the cancer that has just taken him, the strong mark left by the other great “Pepe” of Uruguay in the song memory of the Río de la Plata will be unstoppable. It will be much more so, of course, for having been the other part of The Olimareños, a duo that recorded a whopping almost 50 albums in 30 years. And not just anything, of course. Without the powerful interpretation of “A Don José” – the Artigas aestheticized by Rubén Lena that ended up being legitimized as a Uruguayan cultural anthem – probably a good part of the cisplatino people would not be able to retain in their souls the brown, indigenous component that animated the feat of the great Artigas. Without “El earano”, by Serafín García, which Cafrune propagated towards the west of the river, perhaps the Uruguayan people would have been left without their Martín Fierro. Without the powerful interpretation of “Los dos gallos” – to complete a forceful triad – an essential song of rebellion would have diminished, in gray times.

If “Pepe” and Braulio had not sung these key pieces –and several more-, the dictatorship would not have been cruel to them to the point of exiling them, like Zitarrosa and so many others, during the twelve-year night that it covered with its mantle. of terror to the celestial country. They had done something, then, so that the Centennial of a Thousand Battles succumbed to people, tears and emotions, during the duo’s return to the country, in 1984. “That’s enough for me. I laugh at death,” Guerra had precisely said, when Uruguay surrendered at his feet.

Just glimpses of a much more intense life, which came to the world in October 1931, in Treinta y Tres Orientales, on the banks of the Olimar River, something like the geographical epicenter of Uruguayan folk music. That he grew up looking at those waters and imagining sounds through a handmade guitar. The same one that played tricks on him when he made his public debut at school, at the age of 8, while facing a smiling performance of “Luna tucumana”. That he then he did all the above. Enough to remain in millions of hearts that begin to miss him.

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