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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 04:29 GMT 05:29 UK
Cuba mourns Buena Vista maestro
Secundo's coffin
Segundo's coffin is being taken to Santiago de Cuba
People across Cuba have been paying last respects to music legend Compay Segundo.

Segundo - who starred in Wim Wenders' film Buena Vista Social Club - died on Monday at the age of 95.

Mourners filed past his coffin in Havana, which was draped with a Cuban flag and topped with his trademark white hat.

His body is due to be taken to his hometown of Santiago de Cuba, some 900 kilometres (550 miles) east of the capital, for burial.

On Monday musician Juan de Marco Gonzalez called Segundo "an encyclopaedia of Cuban music".

Cuban television showed footage from his popular videos, and the national press credited him with reviving the traditional Afro-Cuban music called "son".

"His death creates an unfillable void," the country's official Prensa Latina news agency wrote.

The performer suffered from a severe kidney infection, and had to cancel a series of concerts planned for this summer around Europe.

Fame

Segundo played the clarinet and a Cuban string instrument called the tres.

Compay Segundo
Compay Segundo rose to worldwide fame in 1999
He came to worldwide attention in 1999 with the release of Wenders' film, which followed the legendary Buena Vista Social Club musicians as they played in Cuba and abroad.

The soundtrack to the film sold more than four million copies around the world.

Born Francisco Repilado in Santiago in 1907, Segundo learned his musical skills in the 1920s, but did not pick up his nickname until the 1940s - Compay was slang for compadre and Segundo referred to his bass harmony voice.

His group, Compay Segundo y sus Muchachos, was formed in 1956 and was still active at the time of his death.

However, following the 1958 revolution, he disappeared from music to roll cigars for a living.

But he returned to acclaim in the late 1980s.

In 1996 he released a new album - Lo Mejor de la Vida (The Best In Life) - to mark his 90th birthday, and his 1999 album Calle Salud was widely acclaimed.


SEE ALSO:
Buena Vista maestro dies
14 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
Joining the Buena Vista Social Club
09 Apr 01  |  Entertainment
Buena Vista violinist dies after show
10 Apr 01  |  Entertainment
Compay Segundo: Your tributes
14 Jul 03  |  Entertainment


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