Trova musician Eduardo Ramos. Photo: Miguel Clarasó/Cubadebate

WHEN I met him, Eduardo Ramos played the guitar and during those days, as it was necessary, he became a bassist. At first, since he didn’t have the instrument, he imitated it with his electric guitar, equalized at low frequencies. Maybe that’s why he got used to moving the bass with an accompanying, almost free sense, sometimes as second voices, like in trova. Curiously, Eduardo had that same quality in his voice, which throughout his entire life he doubted, despite his personal timbre and being finely-tuned as few others.

Now I realize that, ever since I met him, Eduardo was always ready to take the necessary step. That’s how he overcame his stage fright that February 19, 1968, in the Casa de las Américas, when the concert performers ran out of songs. Thus he remained at the helm of the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora (Sound Experimentation Group), whenever Leo was absent. Likewise, when some of us shied away from being leaders of the Nueva Trova Movement, he was capable of facing the challenge. A few years ago, when the Abdala studios were founded, Eduardo, once again, offered us a helping hand and his experience.

We met when we were very young. He was a month older than me, like Noel. However, Eduardo always had something of an older person, a sort of responsible brilliance. He was one of those strange beings who, almost immediately, inspire confidence and respect. And it’s not that he stopped being young, or that he lacked the joy of youth. On attempting to unravel the aplomb that distinguished him, and that must have its origin in the way in which his parents raised him, I realize that Eduardo never went too far with jokes; he never used what could be inappropriate or hurt feelings; he always considered his interlocutors and, even if he knew something, I never saw him boast of knowing, let alone overwhelm his interlocutors with his knowledge.

People like that cannot summon anything other than affection, people like that amass affection. And this, in a world where hatred is often used as a life force, is a kind of discovery, of just human rejoicing that restores our faith in goodness and decency. That is why when one learns of a gift like Eduardo’s, he thinks he has found a kind of solitary hero who, like other heroes, honor their existence, perfume it, and spark the desire to imitate them.

For all this, it will be difficult to remember without tears this hero of chivalry, music, friendship, family and, without a doubt, his people; because the name of Eduardo is also that of this people who in every block have sung with him, and I hope will continue doing so forever.