Volare ho ho
cantare ho ho hoho
nel blu dipinto di blu
felice di stare lassù.
On Saturday, November 24th, Ricardo “Arístides” Bekema founded the Estudiantina Ensemble orquestra in the legendary “Casa de la Trova”, Santiago de Cuba, representing a revival of the estudiantina groups that were popular in the eastern region of Cuba during the late 19th century.
The name “Estudiantina Ensemble” came from his dear friend and musical teacher “Inaudis Paisán Mallet”, who was at that time the director of the last estudiantina in the whole of Cuba; “Estudiantina Invasora”. Ricardo followed in the footsteps of his master in dedication, preservation and continuation of the traditional boleros, guaracha, danzón and son music styles in the estudiantina tradition from Santiago de Cuba and the Eastern Orient provinces of Cuba.
The original estudiantina groups were formed by students who roamed the streets and local festivities and played the popular version of the danzón during the late 19th century. Consisting of two guitars, two tres, bass, trumpet, small baroque timpani drums (pailas criollas) and two singers who also played the claves, guiro and maracas, these groups roamed the streets op Cuba in traditional university uniforms playing music for fun and money.