One of the great and unique airs that Puerto Rico has given humanity. A rare musical piece to fill the day with an hymn of hope to life.
SEVERAL VERSIONS ARE INCLUDED.
Bella melodia del puertorriqueno Rafael Hernandez, interpretada por Daniel Santos.
Colección de fotos tomadas en Puerto Rico entre los años 1940 al 1950.
Información y fotos obtenidas en:
This version has an introduction by a Puerto Rican poet. (Spanish).
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Rafael Hernández (October 24, 1892 December 11, 1965), is considered by many to be the greatest composer of Puerto Rican music. Hernández (birth name: Rafael Hernández Marín) was born in the town of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, into a poor family. As a child, he learned the craft of cigar making, from which he made a modest living. He also grew to love music and asked his parents to permit him to become a full-time music student. When he was 12 years old, Hernández studied music in San Juan, under the guidance of music professors Jose Ruellan Lequenica and Jesús Figueroa. He learned to play many musical instruments, among them the clarinet, tuba, violin, piano and guitar. However, according to many Puerto Rican music historians, it was when he learned how to write music that his life and the history of Puerto Rican music would change forever.  At the age of 14, he played for the Cocolia Orquestra. Hernández moved to San Juan where he played for the municipal orchestra under the director Manuel Tizol. n 1917, Rafael Hernández was working as a musician in North Carolina, when the U.S. entered World War I. The Jazz bandleader James Reese Europe recruited brothers Rafael and Jesús Hernández, and 16 more Puerto Ricans to join the United States Army’s Harlem Hell fighters musical band, the Orchestra Europe. He enlisted and was assigned to the U.S. 369th Infantry Regiment (formerly known as the 15th Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard, created in New York City June 2, 1913). The regiment, was nicknamed “The Harlem Hell Fighters” by the Germans, served in France. Hernandez toured Europe with the Orchestra Europe. The 369th was awarded French Croix de Guerre for battlefield gallantry by the President of France.
Below, his piano rendition.