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Puerto Rican troubadours
--careers beginning or spanning the decade of 1950-1959

The era that followed the Second World War is marked by the migration of our jíbaros to the North American continent. Wherever they settled, they brought their customs and traditions with them.  They left their small clod of native land to enter a much wider, freer world into which to make their talents known with the means and resources that were available to them. The artists listed here didn't necessarily begin their career during this decade, rather that during this time they became widely known throughout their own land and the United States by means of the radio, the theatres and the recording labels which proliferated not only in New York but also in other large cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey and other Eastern states. For example Luis Miranda began his career in 1924 but he emerges as a result of his recordings of the sixties and becomes widely famed as a result of his late seventies' recordings on the Ansonia label, the most prestigious of all the labels recording jíbaro music. The radio, television, the theatres and recordings allowed us to become familiar with veteran troubadours that had been up to them known only locally in their towns. During the fifties decade they become widely known in the boricua neighborhoods of Puerto Rico and the United States. 

Ernestina Reyes

La Calandria

A native of the town of San Lorenzo. Arguably, she is among the femenine voices the greatest exponent of Puerto Rican country music, with her registry of chords and arpeggios from her throat, and a pure jíbaro sentiment in her mountain music. Before producing her earliest recordings, she sang in duo with her sister when they were known as the Reyes Sisters [Las Hermanas Reyes].

Ernestina began her fame recording with Chuíto el de Bayamón and the Conjunto Típico Ladí in 1947 for the RCA Victor label. She left us a legacy of unforgettable recordings upon her death a few years ago.         

Listen to La Calandria accompanied by Francisco Ortiz Piñeiro, Maso Rivera on cuatro and Felipe Rosario Goyco on guitar. This audio was extracted from an old DivEdCo film.

Biography of Ernestina Reyes on the Fundación para la Cultura Popular (Spanish only)

Germán Rosario

El Jíbaro de Yumac

Germán Rosario Rivera was born in the Membrillos neighborhood of Camuy in 1914. He began singing décimas at age twelve and is considered "the king of the troubadours."

His given stage name was the “Jíbaro del Yumac” (Yumac is Camuy spelled backwards) was a troubadour and poet of the highest rank who elevated the traditional décima verso to the highest pedestals with his rich vocabulary, rhetoric and muse.

* We have a page dedicated to Germán Rosario here.

 One of his greatest hits was El Múcaro en la Horqueta. [The owl in the crotch of the tree]

Listen to Germán Rosario sing Endrújula.


Juan Morales Ramos

El Cantor de Tierra Adentro

Moralito was born around 1924. He is considered the greatest of the pie forzao improvisors among the other Morales Ramos brothers, Ramito y Luisito.

Among the many recordings he left behind on acetate  as La Yegua del Permante en el Rabo, Allá en la Altura, Una Emisora en el Cielo and other country numbers marked by their fine country twang.

Among his many achievements is the creation of the seis guagancó. Listen to a sample here.

He died in 1988 as a result of medical complications after suffering an automobile accident that resulted in the amputation of his legs.

* We've created a page dedicated to Moralito here.

Luz Celenia Tirado

La Jíbara de las Lomas
La Dama de la Décima

She became known during her programs of jíbaro music in Mayagüez, during one which she featured the great Jibarito de Lares while still a child. Born in 1928 and raised in the town of San Germán, where she is still active cultivating her verse, prose and inspiration with the lyrical rhetoric of country song.

She was among the first voices on the jibaro programs on Mayagüez radio and she recorded innumerable controversias with the greatest jíbaro décima singers, such as Germán Rosario.  She also appeared with Odilio González singing Una Tercera Persona and other popular themes.

* We've put together a page dedicated to Lux Celenia here. 

 Listen to a fragment of the Seis Chorreao Cosecharemos Cemento [We'll harvest cement] sung by the La Jíbara de las Lomas


Juan Inés Aponte

el Zorzal de la Montaña
El Zorzal de Orocovis

  Originally from the town of Orocovis. He was one of the bards that stood out so much on radio as he did on television, singing his jíbaro music in front of the public. He enjoy much fame as a troubadour, especially in Caguas, where he would appear to do his programs. He left us several recordings, most of them on 78 rpm platter. He dies a tragic death in Puerto Rico. 

 Listen to
Juaniquillo here, backed by the group led by Gala Hernández Pabón. The audio was extracted from a 1958 called Parranda Campesina made by the PR Government's División de Educación de la Comunidad [DIVEDCO].

 Another example of the song of the great Juaniquillo, an     enramada in plena rhythym.

Juaniquillo sings La Fiesta del Cabrito [Festival of the Goat] back by Arturito Avilés on cuatro

 Backed by the female singer Nereida Maldonado and the cuatrista ArturitoAvilés, Juaniquillo sings Dímelo Cantando. [Tell me in song]

José Ángel Ortiz

El Jíbaro de Yauco

   Originally from the town of Yauco, José Ángel Ortiz was one of the pioneers on the West coast region of Mayagüez. He displays his talents through performances and recordings made in New York and New Jersey.     
    He was on of the early performers on the radio on the old Mayagüez radio program, Fiesta en el Batey. [Backyard Festival]
   One of the best improvisers of his times--the elder décima singers 
Baltazar Carrero and Luis Miranda have called him the best improviser among all of them--he was almost as good as Germán Rosario during a décima competition in New York. We are told that he died tragically in his town of Yauco, when him and his horse fell down a cliff.

* We have developed a page for the Jíbaro de Yauco here

 Listen to the Jíbaro de Yauco recite Muriendo Nuestra Cultura,
and an
 Homenaje a German Rosario

Baltazar Carrero

El Jíbaro de Rincón

    A comical composer who posessed an distinctive deep jíbaro voice. One of our most distinctive jíbaro singers in the real of Puerto Rican music, he wa born in the town of Rincon. Her recorded four records on the Ansionia label and several LPs for Casa Flor, among others.
   According to the folklorist José Gumersindo Torres, his most popular hit was El Jíbaro Terminao [The Finely-Finished Jíbaro] as well as other funny pieces that he left behind in his jíbaro voice. 
     Carrero made very few public performances. He revealed in 1976, while in Nueva York, that he hadn't sung in public since 1956.

* Visit our page dedicated to Baltazar Carrero.

Isabel Dávila

La Chabela

    She began her artistic career on the radio singing on the Santurce station WIAC, singing with Chuíto el de Bayamón.

 Listen to La Chabela in the controversia with Germán Rosario, Mujer Dominante

You'll find a high-resolution copy of the beautiful La Chabela illustration here.


 Juan A. Romero Muñiz
Toñín Romero

A native of the Coabey sector of Jayuya. Born in 1919, he was an adopted son of the city of Ponce, where he arrived at the age of ten and where he died and was buried.
   He was a bastion of our décima and also especially of our plena music. He was a great promoter of our traditional music by means of his radio programs, such as La Hora Campesina [The Farmer's Hour] on Ponce radio station WPAB; Fiesta en el Batey [Backyard Party] on WISO; and on his own record label, JARM. We remember him on his radio program in Ponce with Gelo Febles' group every Sunday. His brothers Moisés and Esteban and his son appeared together on the television program Borinquen Canta [Borinquen Sings].
     Toñín didn't record very much but he wrote several musical treasures such as the plena Ni de Madera son Buenas [Even the wooden ones are no good] recorded by Odilio González; Con el Casco del Juey [With the Shell of the Crab] that he recorded himself; El Charlatán recorded by Ismael Rivera with Lito Peña's orchestra; El Cofresito [The little coffer] recorded by Ruth Fernández.

Listen to Toñín sing 
Ni de Madera son Buenas

* See our page dedicated to Toñín Romero

We also have a page dedicated to the singer of Toñín Romero's Grupo Campesino, Bautista Ramos

Luis Morales Ramos


Also known as El Montañero [Man of the mountains], he was the youngest of the great traditional music triumverate: the three brothers: Ramito, Luisito and Moralito, from the prodigious family residing in the Bairoa neighbor- hood of Caguas.
    Born in 1928, Luisito possessed a strong, ringing country voice, as he aptly demonstrated in his two classic songs, Padre Nuestro and Boricua de Arriba Abajo. He developed several seis variants of his own which were added to the traditional repertory.

Luis Morales Ramos died in 2009.

Listen to Luisito sing Divino Maestro  [Divine Master]

 Listen to Luisito sing Repartiendo Lechón [Sharing the roast pig]

  Luisito sings Celebrando la Navidad [Celebrating Christmas]

* We have a page dedicated to the great troubadour Luis Morales Ramos

Odilio González
El Jibarito de Lares

Perhaps the greatest traditional singer of all time, Odilio was born in Lares in 1939. After arriving in Arecibo as an adolescent, he made his name renown on the radio. He later debuted in New York in 1955, when he recorded his first jíbaro hits. He was one of our child stars during the music's Golden Age during the nineteen fifties.
     By 1962, he had recorded the hit Celos sin Motivo  [Pointless Jealously] by Ismael Santiago and with it he opens a wide berth into a successful caree in pop music as well as in Puerto Rican traditional song.

Listen the the young Odilio González sing Mi Música Campesina--My Country Music.

Another sample of Odilio's singing when he was a child star: Así Vive el Jibarito--[That's How the Little Jibaro Lives].

* See our Odilio Gonzalez page here, with additional photos and commentary.

José Miguel Class
El Gallito de Manatí

     Nace en 1940 en el  barrio Pugnado Adentro de Manatí. Luego pasa a Santurce, donde comienza su carrera joven, niño aun, como lo hizo Odilio González para los mismos años, grabando su primer disco para la Casa Ansonia cuando aún un adolescente. Luego hace dos grabaciones puramente jíbaras con la Casa Neliz, Tu Patria y la Mía y luego, Fiesteando en Navidad.   
     Se consideraba como la competencia de Odilio González, en esos días. Ambos grabaron Celos sin Motivos, pero El Jibarito de Lares fue el que lo pegó en el populacho boricua. Su éxito radicó en la ranchera puertorriqueña, que empieza a grabar para los años sesenta. Su fresca y timbrada voz se oyó y deleitó también por toda Sudamérica. Filmó la película El Gallo y aún se mantiene activo.

He aquí un enlace a una magnífica biografía del Gallito de Manatí en la página del Internet de Juan Torres Rivera.

Nereida Maldonado
La Jíbara de Salón

Nereida Maldonado, oriunda de Fajardo, ha cultivado el verso en prosa del cantar de la Espinela. Dueña de una melodía y entonación en conversación con el jíbaro diapasón de la guitarra y el cuatro. Indiscutiblemente, una de nuestras mejores cantoras del cántico del batey.

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Oigan a Nereida cantar Campiña Borincana acompañada de Roque Navarro.

Nereida canta Picando Caña, acompañado de Arturito Avilés en el cuatro

Otra vez Nereida, pero aquí respaldado con Juaniquillo y Arturito Avilés, cantando Dímelo Cantando





Víctor Rolón Santiago
El Jibarito de la Montaña

 Víctor Rolón Santiago era natural de Cayey. Tenía buena fama de improvisador y de acuerdo al folklorista Joaquín Rivera, en controversia con Juaniquillo, su pie forzao era: Esos versos tuyos los uso para buscar agua en el pozo.
     Con poca educación escolar, en su musa sencilla se enfrentó a un monstruo sagrado del arte de improvisar como German Rosario y salió bastante airoso ante el desafío

Notas adicionales del folklorista Joaquín Rivera

Victor Rólon Santiago canta Por Ser Loco y No Pensar  acompañado de un tal Yomo Toro quemando las cuerdas de un requinto.

  En 1956 un dentista de Brooklyn NY, de descendencia latvia viajó a la isla y grabó a Victor Rolón y su Cuarteto Puerto Rico de Cayey improvisando una decimilla a un Aguinaldo Cagueño y una décima a un Seis Mapeyé

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Miguel Ángel Figueroa

El Jíbaro de Adjuntas

Durante su larga trayectoria grabó muchos discos de música folklórica, incluyendo Rancheras y Boleros Jíbaros. En sus últimos años se dedicó, igual que don Luis Miranda, "El Pico de Oro", a interpretar temas religiosos por su conversión al cristianismo.


 Oigan al Jíbaro de Adjuntas en el Seis de Adjuntas titulado, 
Las Muchachas de Adjuntas

 Miguel Ángel Figueroa canta un Aire Navideño

 Maso Rivera lo acompaña en esta Parranda Campesina extraída de un film de DIVEDCO con el mismo nombre

 La Parranda Campesina con un seis chorreao de Miguel Ángel Figueroa sigue aquí.


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Maria Esther Acevedo

...se da a conocer en Caguas, donde se escuchaban sus dulces cantíos criollos a través de las ondas radiales cagueñas, compartiendo con titanes de la trova como Luis Miranda "El Pico de Oro", Ramito, El Montañero, Moralito, Pecho de Bronce, Goyo Rivera y otros bardos del valle del Turabo. Su cántico -- agudo y melódico, al compás de los géneros variantes del Seis, demuestran su valía en la música campesina. Su vida fue corta y sus grabaciones pocas también. No se puede hablar de nuestras cantoras sin mencionar su honroso nombre.

Oigan a María Esther Acevedo, acompañada por Paquito López Cruz y su grupo en un Aguinaldo que destaca el  tiple puertorriqueño.

María Esther Acevedo canta Fiesta Jíbara respaldado por Arturito Avilés en el cuatro

  María Esther Acevedo canta una triste cadena titulada Lamento. Compárenlo con una cadena alegre cantada por Chuíto de Bayamón

Adela Hernández

     Natural de Quebradillas, nos representó con su cálida y aterciopelada voz en sus cantos de la música de tierra adentro.
     Adela es famosa por su estilo inigualable de interpretar nuestra música típica y recordamos sus presentaciones en la radio y la televisión, donde siempre desempeñó un buen papel. 

Irma E. Rodríguez

La Jibarita de Salinas

Oigan a Irma Rodríguez, acompañada de su esposo, Flor Morales Ramos, cantando Cadenas del 1800.
La Jíbarita de Salinas tiene su propia websitio.



Pedro Rivera Maldonado

Natural de Fajardo. Nombrado por Joaquín Mouliert como uno de los más distinguidos cantores de la música típica. Miembro de la Mesa Redonda.

Sixto Claudio

Natural del barrio Tomás de Castro de Caguas. Hermano mayor de Domingo Claudio.

Domingo Claudio

Natural del barrio Tomás de Castro de Caguas. Nació entre una familia musical de trovadores famosos como Jacinto y Sixto Claudio. Como muchos otros, empezó su carrera en la radio en la estación WRIA de Caguas.

Milagros Carrillos

La Jibarita de Canóvanas

 Oriunda de Canóvanas. Comenzó distinguiéndose en los cantares del terruño amado, donde hizo su aporte a nuestro más bello folklore con canciones como el Seis de Oriente a través del programa Tribuna del Arte. Más tarde se distinguió como actriz dramática en las novelas de la radio y la televisión.

Víctor Manuel Reyes

El Volo

Natural de Aguas Buenas. Nombrado por Luis Miranda como uno de los más distinguidos cantores de la música típica.

Pedro Sorio


Natural de Luquillo

Gumersindo Reyes

Natural de Barranquitas. Nombrado por Luis Miranda como uno de los más distinguidos cantores de la música típica.