Segundo's Still Strumming At 95

With his perennial hat, a cigar in his mouth, and a guitar in his hands, Compay Segundo of Buena Vista Social Club fame turns 95 today (Nov. 18). His secret? Eliminating the routine from his life. "I

With his perennial hat, a cigar in his mouth, and a guitar in his hands, Compay Segundo of Buena Vista Social Club fame turns 95 today (Nov. 18). His secret? Eliminating the routine from his life. "I feel content, successful ... you shouldn't succumb to boredom," Company said Friday at Havana's Hotel Nacional in the midst of a three-day celebration in his honor.

Born Francisco Repilado in the tiny eastern Cuban beach town of Siboney, Compay won a Grammy in 1997 for "Buena Vista Social Club" (Elektra/Asylum), producer Ry Cooder's Cuban music documentary that catapulted the musician to world stardom after he was already retired.

"I'm a simple and profound musician," the animated and reinvigorated Segundo said, not noticing the contradiction. He sat on the front row for a showing of Cuban journalist Julio Acando's new documentary on him. "I have no regrets in life," Segundo says in the film, looking at the camera.

In May 2001, Segundo was hospitalized for extreme fatigue after a series of concerts in Italy, Mexico, and Martinique. At the time, Segundo's Spanish agent, Luis Lazaro, said the artist was unlikely to perform again.


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