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Thursday, November 14, 2019
Sunday, February 24, 2019

Marcos A. Urbay, One of the Greatest Cuban Musicians, Died

Santa Clara, Cuba, Feb 24.- The 2018 National Music Award, Marcos Antonio Urbay, died Sunday at age 90 in his native Caibarien, a Cuban town more than 50 kilometers northeast of this city.

In December 2018, a jury presided over by Digna Guerra and made up of Beatriz Marquez, Adalberto Alvarez, Francisco 'Pancho' Amat, and Juan Piñera, awarded him the national music prize along with his compatriot, musicologist and researcher Jesus Evaristo Gomez.

Marcos Antonio Urbay, until his last breath remained as musical director and trumpet player of the Caibarien Concert Band, a group with 102 years of existence and in which his father, Roberto Urbay, was founder and then director.

Urbay was a teacher at the National School of Art from the early days of that institution. He also gave classes at the Alejandro Garcia Caturla Conservatory, prepared trumpet masters from all over the country, trumpet players from symphony orchestras in the provinces, and those from the Cuban Orchestra of Modern Music.

He also wrote textbooks and was an advisor on the teaching of this instrument and a professor at the Higher Institute of Art.

He began playing in the jazz band Brothers Farach, in his native city of Caibarien, where he was born on October 21, 1928.

He moved to Havana, capital of Cuba, in 1949, looking for new and better musical opportunities. He played in several orchestras for radio programs and in 1952 he joined the famous Riverside Orchestra as the first trumpet, where he stayed until July 1956.

He also played in the cabaret orchestra Tropicana, in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Havana and in the TV Channel 4, where he was directed by famous musicians such as Armando Romeu, Adolfo Guzman and Julio Gutierrez.

In September 1960 he was one of the three trumpeters selected to found the National Symphony Orchestra, an institution where he remained for 30 years.

He had numerous national decorations, among them, the Distinction for National Culture, the Raul Gomez Garcia, the Alejo Carpentier Medal and the national awards of Community Culture and Artistic Education 2007. (Prensa Latina)