As if he were another traveler in the city of Cienfuegos, we found this personage among the people. Cast in bronze, it seems to walk through the center of Paseo del Prado, the main alle of Perla del Sur. He is Benny Moré, born as Bartolome Maximiliano Moré back in 1919. He has the same clothes as always, his same 1.83 meters tall, his same smile.

Benny was born in Cienfuegos and he was the eldest of 18 siblings of a humble and peasant Afro-Cuban family. He was a great Cuban singer and songwriter, known as the Barbarian of Rhythm, ¨El Sonero Mayor de Cuba¨. Even today, he is one of the greatest figures, a glory of national popular music. Master in all genres of Cuban music, especially son, mambo, and bolero.

In 2003, the city of Cienfuegos immortalized this charismatic interpreter. The sculpture is the work of the Cuban artist José Villa. The same sculptor has made other works such as John Lennon sculpture in El Vedado, Ernest Hemingway sculpture in the Floridita bar and those of the Knight of Paris and Mother Teresa of Calcuta in the neighborhood of the Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi Convent. The statue dedicated to Benny is one of the few located outside the province of Havana.

It is easy to recognize him with his wide-brimmed hat, long bag, wide pants and two-tone shoes. The cane that he became baton to lead with magic his orchestra is in his hand. He wears it under the right arm as indicating the path to the walker. The hilt of the cane shines, polished to the touch of his admirers. Hundreds of people pose every day next to Benny’s sculpture. Tourists and locals want to immortalize with an image of the one who sang to us “Cienfuegos is the city I like the most”.

Each year, people from Cienfuegos do, in honor of Benny Moré, their traditional pilgrimage to the local cemetery where rest the mortal remains of the artist. In front of his tomb, relatives and friends sing well-known songs created by him. Benny will always be alive in the memory of all people from Cienfuegos.

For visit: Avenue Paseo del Prado (37 street) between 52th & 54th streets. Cienfuegos (“22.14493, -80.44837”). Daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez