Santiago Feliu

Renowned member of the island's Nueva Trova movement dies of a heart attack

Cuban musicians and music fans mourned the death Wednesday (Feb. 12) of Santiago Feliu, a singer/songwriter who brought rock edge to the socially-conscious Nueva Trova genre. Feliu, 51, was found dead of a heart attack in his home in Havana, Cuban sources reported. 

Writing on his blog about waking to an early morning phone call with the news, famed folk singer Silvio Rodríguez referred to the lyrics of a classic Cuban song when he said that Feliu's death made his mind run with so many thoughts that they ran over each other in his head ("son tantas que se atropellan").

Feliu was a musician who bridged two generations on the island, Rodríguez's and that of younger artists who fused their revolutionary ballads with rock,  pop and other Latin styles to create what became known as La Novisima Trova. His best known songs included "Para Bárbara" and "Vida." He frequently collaborated and performed with other artists, including Rodríguez, famed Spanish singer/songwriter Joaquin Sabina and Argentine protest music icon Leon Gieco.