Cuban Culture Minister Alpidio Alonso Grau presenting Beatriz Márquez with the 2018 Cubadisco Grand Prize. Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez

A delightful compilation of wonderful songs from a privileged voice. That’s how the new album by Cuban singer Beatriz Márquez, dedicated to renowned composer Adolfo Guzmán (Havana 1920-1976), can be summed up.

The album takes the title of one of Guzmán’s most popular songs, “Libre de pecado” (Free of Sin), and includes ten other tracks that reveal the fine sensitivity and beautiful musical approach of the composer.

No puedo ser feliz”; “Te espero en la eternidad”; “Lloviendo”; “Seré feliz cuando tú me quieras”; “Es tan fácil mentir”; ”Esta noche te encontré”; “Al fin amor”;Profecía”; “Siempre navidad”; andPor tu falso amor,” complete the album.

On presenting the CD (under the Producciones Colibrí label), in the Hotel Nacional’s Taganana Hall, the singer and composer revealed that Guzmán had dedicated “Portu falso amor” to her.

It was a surprise to learn that the maestro had left a piece written for me, she explained, adding that it was the Director of Havana’s Museum of Music, Jesús Gómez Cairo, who found the score, while Guzmán’s daughter Ligia presented it to her. “I was delighted and, of course, I included it on the album.”

Beatriz Márquez (Havana 1952) studied at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory and at the National Arts School. She is celebrating 50 years of her artistic life this year, having made her professional debut in 1968.

Among the milestones of her beautiful career are her youthful success with the band Los Barbas; and her first recital at the Amadeo Roldán Theater in 1971. In 1970, she participated in the Varadero International Song Festival, and made musical history with three pieces: “Espontáneamente” (by her father René Márquez), “Diálogo con un ave” (by Mike Porcel), and “Es soledad” (by Juan Almeida).

Known throughout Cuba as “La Musicalísima,” Márquezhas performed at festivals in Bulgaria, Romania, the former Soviet Union, Angola, Venezuela, Colombia, France, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Panama, and has an extensive discography.

With her well-defined style, highly praised voice, interpretation concept and perfect pitch, she is one of the main exponents of the romantic genre, feeling and bolero, and her repertoire includes both her own works and those by the greatest Cuban composers, among them Sindo Garay, René Márquez, Marta Valdés, Juanito Márquez, Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés.

The 2018 Cubadisco International Fair (September 23 to 30), where the best of the island’s music is presented, awarded its Grand Prize to Beatriz Márquez for Libre de Pecado, produced by Jorge Aragón; and she also took the prizes in the “Cancionística” and “Grabación” categories.

The awards were presented at the closing gala by Culture Minister Alpidio Alonso, and the President of the Cuban Music Institute, Marta Bonet.

Upon receiving the National Music Award in 2015, Beatriz Márquez noted: “This is recognition of my entire life’s work, a great commitment to continue defending our Cuban music. I am very happy, very grateful. I will be here as long as I have even a little of a voice, as everything that springs from my life, from my heart, is music.”