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Dos Gardenias
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Dos Gardenias

My current repertoire has songs that were composed or popularized by Buena Vista Social Club, Armando Manzanero, Danny Rivera, Lucho Gatica, Paloma San Basilio, Massiel, Rocio Durcal and Juan Gabriel.

Many of these songs are inherited from my mother Chelena. She, a singer and actress, like her two sisters, Mary Cruz and Chiminia, exuded beauty, art and poetry wherever she went. When the three of them got together, they were a bomb!

Chiminia, Mary Cruz and Chelena
The Barquisimetan sisters Chiminia, Mary Cruz and Chelena.
Chelena and her cuatro (1941-2019)
Chelena, artistic name of Mercedes Elena Mendoza Rivero (1941-2019).

Thus, when I play “El Último Cafe” on the piano today, I am not playing a tango by Julio Sosa or the most contemporary version by Rocio Durcal. I am playing my godmother Mary Cruz, who sings it with a lot of passion. When I play “Brindaremos por él” by Massiel, I don’t remember the Spanish singer who was successful on television when I was still a child. I remember my mother with her cuatro and her wonderful voice. They are my influences.

My grandmother Silvia Rivero also played the piano. I don’t remember her much. She passed away when I was still very young, but I can assume that she passed on all the art of music to her daughters and that I too am the bearer of her musical heritage. For this reason I want to bear her last name. The maternal surname of my mother and my aunts, the last name of my grandmother, Rivero.

Aleksei Hecht – Piano Rivero