argelia fragoso
When Argelia Fragoso stormed into the world of fame, we unknowingly witnessed the birth of one of the most important figures that Cuba would lend the international stage. Without a doubt, we found ourselves before one of the most talked about voices, due to her exceptional gifts and artistic versatility, winning her a spotlight in the specialized press, which forever defines her as “Cuba’s Golden Voice.”

Armed with a great contralto register, rich and warm, Argelia additionally possesses impactful musicality, perfect pitch, and exquisite enunciation, which make her song a gift to the most exacting ears. She is a tangible interpreter – real, close, assured – and, through the magic of her unquestionable talent, she is able to navigate the most dissimilar genres, from Son to the Ballad, from Feeling to Bolero, from Lyricals to Pop, or to surprise us, with her charm, with an interpretation of the best Jazz of all time. Having this versality in her repertoire has allowed her to record 21 studio albums during her career, which include “En busca de una nueva flor,” “Entre nosotros,” “Mi Voz,” “Inesperadamente,” “Argelia Fragoso canta a Vicente Garrido,” among others.

In her small black figure are compacted many years of study, completed at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Weimar, Germany, where she received an undergraduate degree, with honors, in Piano, Vocal Performance, Choral and Orchestral Directing, thereby educating as a tenured professor in various countries such as Cuba, Mexico, the United States, Spain, Germany, Venezuela, Panama, among many others.

Her sound fame, in her native country as well as that which she has received during her long career, have taken her to and from the most important stages in the United States, Austria, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Peru, among others, where she has shared with individuals and orchestras of international renown, such as Michel Legrand, Armando Manzanero, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Lila Downs, Jorge Drexler, Arturo Sandoval, Chucho Valdés, Paquito de Rivera, The Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, The Germany Symphony Orchestra, The Aragon Orchestra, Irakere Group, among many others.

Many international festivals have featured her and in order to recognize her interpretive talent, they have bestowed her with highest awards, among which are the Grand Prize in Gold, Red Key, Sochi Festival, Russia; Award for Best Interpretation, Sopot Festival, Poland; 1st Place Kaernten International Festival, Vienna, Austria; Special Award for Interpretation, New Wollah Festival, Kansas, United States; 1st Place, Golden Orpheus Festival, Bulgaria; 1st Place Dresden Festival, Germany; 1st Place, Golden Lyre, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia; among others.

Argelia proudly carries Cuba within her, in arpeggios, notes or songs, which makes any stage, in any corner of the world, auspicious for us to be delighted by her voice, the perfect place where she can play words and song lyrics, in the purest Gold: The Gold of her Voice.

AWARDS

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Grand Prize in Gold, Red Key, Sochi Festival, Russia.

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Award for Best Interpretation, Sopot Festival, Poland.

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Special Award for Intepretation, New Wollah Festival, Kansas, United States.

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1st. Place Kaernten Intenational Festival, Vienna, Austria.

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1st. Place, Golden Orpheus Festival, Bulgaria.

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1st. Place Dresden Festival, Germany.

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1st. Place, Golden Lyre, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

ARTISTS WITH WHOM SHE HAS SHARED THE STAGE

Armando Manzanero, César Portillo de la Luz, Miriam Ramos, Esther Borja, Rosita Fornés, Eugenia León, Amparo Montes, Rafael Lay, Moraima Secada, Javier Colina, Jesús “Chucho” Valdés, Totó La Momposina, Eva Amaral y Juan Aguirre(Dúo Amaral), Pancho Céspedes, Cecilia Tod, Emilio Morales, Amparo Ochoa, Cecilia Bracamontes, José Antonio “Ñico” Rojas, Pablo Milanés, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Michel Legrand, Erick Berchot, Juan Bruno Tarraza, Frank Emilio Flynn, Vicente Garrido, Elena Burke, Emiliano Salvador, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Trío Los Panchos, Omara Portuondo, Frank Domínguez, Isolina Carrillo, Ema Elena Valdelamar, José Antonio Méndez, Silvio Rodríguez, Marta Valdés, Manolo Simonet, Guillermo Rubalcaba, José Manuel “Meme” Solís, Ángel Díaz, Nelson Díaz, Rembert Egües, Chenique Sarabia, Faustino Oramas “El Guayabero”, Denisse de Kalaf, Francisco “Pancho” Amat, Oscar Chaves, Olga Guillot, Susana Baca, Luis Carbonell, Malena Burke, Xiomara Laugart.

Lila Downs, Tania Libertad, Orlando Vistel, Maridalia Hernández, Dúo Amaral, Jorge Drexler, Isacc Delgado, Susana Baca, Orquesta Anacaona, Totó La Mamposina, Pancho Amat, Jorge Giuliano, Eugenia León.

ORCHESTRAS AND GROUPS WITH WHICH SHE HAS WORKED

Orquesta Aragón, Cuba, Orquesta Jorrín, Cuba, Orquesta de Tropicana, Cuba, Conjunto Los Naranjos, Cuba, Orquesta Anacaona, Cuba, Orquesta de Manolo Simonet, Cuba, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba, Orquesta Sinfónica de Gotta, Alemania, Orquestas de la Radio y la Televisión de Cuba / Berlín / Praga / Budapest / Sofía Varsovia / Viena / Moscú, Orquesta de Woody Herman, Estados Unidos, Orquesta de Cámara de La Habana, Cuba, Orquesta de Cámara de La Florida, Estados Unidos, Orquesta de Música Moderna de Cuba, Banda Nacional de Conciertos de Cuba, Banda de Conciertos, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, España, Grupo Irakere, Grupo Opus Trece, Grupo Perspectiva.

SOME TOURS AND PERFORMANCES

  • Germany 1973, 1975, 1984, 2001, 2003
  • Bulgaria 1974, 1985
  • Poland 1976, 1985
  • Austria 1984
  • Czechoslovakia 1974, 1982
  • Slovakia 1975, 1985
  • Spain 1989, 1994, & from 1997 to 2013
  • United States 1981, 1989, 1996, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Costa Rica 1992
  • Panamá 1995, 1996
  • Venezuela 1993, 2006, 2007
  • Perú 1994, 1995
  • México, from 1987 to 2010
  • United States, Concerts with José Manuel “Meme” Solís in Miami, USA 2007, 2009, 2010, 2019.
  • Concert at “El Lunario” at the National Auditorium, Mexico City 2007
  • Concert at the Roca Theater with the Florida Chamber Orchestra, Miami, USA, 2008
  • Concert at the National Museum of Mexico City, Mexico 2008
  • Concert at the National Museum of Popular Music, Coyoacan, Mexico City, Mexico 2009
  • Cuba – Concierto en la Sala Teatro del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, La Habana, 2011
  • “En Blanco y Negro” concert, Mexico 2020
  • Tribute concert to Chamín Correa, Mexico City Theater, Mexico City, 2020

MASTER CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS OF POPULAR SINGING

  • Costa Rica, 1992
  • Perú, 1995
  • Spain, 1994; & from 1997 to 2013
  • La Habana, 2011. First Popular Singing Workshop at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory. The closing concert of this workshop was held in the Theater Room of the National Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Popular Singing Workshops at the Museum of Music, city of Havana and at the Art Schools of Cienfuegos, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba, from 2011 to 2017.

DISTINCTIONS

  • Honorary Recognition, granted by the University of Guadalajara, as an outstanding representative of Cuban music in Mexico.
  • “Abel Santamaría” Medal, awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba to young people with notable merits in creative work, within the Cuban artistic and literary sphere.
  • Order for the National Culture, granted by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba and the Ministry of Culture, for relevant contributions in the enrichment of national culture.
  • Distinction “Gitana Tropical”, awarded by the Provincial Directorate of Culture of Havana, to personalities from the world of art and culture.
  • Distinction “La Bella Cubana”, awarded by the Music Directorate of UNEAC, Matanzas.
  • Distinction “Rosette of the City”, awarded by the Provincial Directorate of Culture of Cienfuegos, to personalities from the world of art and culture.
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ACADEMIC CURRICULUM

  • Graduated in 1980 from the Franz Liszt Higher Institute of Music in the city of Weimar, Germany, where she obtained, with honors, a Bachelor of Piano, Choral and Orchestral Conducting, as well as Singing.
  • Back in Havana, she created the Vocal Eco group, with which she obtained not only the recognition of the public, but also of the most specialized critics and with which she traveled to different countries in Latin America.
  • From 1980 to 1983, she worked as a Specialized Instructor with the Teaching Category of Professor, at the Higher Institute of Arts of the City of Havana, Cuba. She shared this teaching with the Category of Professor of Singing at the National School of Arts in Havana, where she remained until 1995.
  • From 1983 to 1995, she worked in parallel, Teaching with the Category of Professor of Piano, Song and Repertoire, at the “Ignacio Cervantes” School for Professional Development in Havana, Cuba.
  • As of her arrival, in 1997 in Tenerife, Spain, and until 2004, she taught Piano and Singing classes at the “Música Viva” School, sponsored by the Autonomous Cultural Organization of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council.
  • During the academic years 96-97 / 97-98 / 98-99 / 99-2007, she taught singing, choir and piano classes at the Conservatorio Privado de Música, S.L. of Santa Cruz.
  • She has given Master Singing Classes in Germany, Peru, Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain.
  • Since the creation of the Fundación Voces Populares, she has given workshops on popular singing in Spain, Germany and Mexico. In 2008 she began to teach them in Havana as a result of the project of bringing to Cuba the Encuentro de Voces Populares, a project she created.