Tošo Fernandez

The Film
Gaitero Music
The Musicians
Toño Fernández


Tono in San Jacinto

Antonio "Toño" Fernández was the first gaitero to popularize putting words to gaitero music. Although other musicians had tried, none were as skillful as he in writing songs to the cumbia, and at improvisation of lyrics, as well. When Toño Fernández was filmed, he was in his 70's, and no longer able to sing, due to his failing memory. He was interviewed at his home in San Jacinto, in what was probably the last time he was recorded on film or tape. He discussed his music, the origin of the gaita, and how he first began writing songs to the music, as well as his travels to Europe, Russia and China with the Gaiteros of San Jacinto, and folklorists Manuel Zapata Olivella and his sister Delia Zapata Olivella, in the 60's. This film is a post-humous tribute to Toño, as well as to the other musicians.

Listen to Toño Fernández

Version en Español
Cumbia: El Llanto de Dos Razas en Cautiverio
Copyright š 2001-2009.
Photographs by Alvaro Ernesto Ortiz and Ellen Speiser.
For problems or questions regarding this web contact [Juan Ricardo León].
Last updated: August 11, 2009
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