Antonio "Toño" Fernández was the first gaitero to popularize putting words to gaita 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 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 de San Jacinto, and folklorists Manuel Zapata Olivella and his sister Delia Zapata Olivella, in the 60's. The film is a post-humous tribute to Toño, as well as to the other musicians, and Delia Zapata Olivella..
Toño Fernandez and Julio León
Toño Fernández in San Jacinto (circa 1986)