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Nicomedes Santa Cruz

Nicomedes Santa Cruz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nicomedes Santa Cruz

Nicomedes Santa Cruz singing.
BornJune 4, 1925
La Victoria, Lima Province, Peru
DiedFebruary 5, 1992 (aged 66)
Madrid, Spain
OccupationPoet, composer, journalist, folklorist

Nicomedes Santa Cruz (b. June 4, 1925, La Victoria District, Lima, Peru, d. February 5, 1992,Madrid, Spain) was an Afro-Peruvian musician who helped raise public awareness of Afro-Peruvian culture.

Son of Nicomedes Santa Cruz Aparicio and Victoria Gamarra Ramirez, Santa Cruz was the ninth of ten siblings. After his schooling it was decided that he would work as a blacksmith, which he did until 1956, when he left his workshop and traveled throughout Peru and Latin America, composing and reciting his poems. In 1945 he met Don Porfirio Vasquez (father of the singer Pepe Vazquez), who became a decisive influence on Santa Cruz' development as a decimero, a composer using the décima form. Porfirio Vasquez came to Lima in 1920 and was an early pioneer of the movement to regain the lost cultural identity of Afro-Peruvians.

Santa Cruz assumed the task of reviving Afro-Peruvian folklore through a theater company he organized with his sister Victoria Santa Cruz (1959–1961), through radio broadcasts, and through his collaborations in the daily newspapers Expreso andEl Comercio as well as other publications. In 1959, with his group Conjunto Cumanana, he recorded the album Kumanana, followed in 1960 by Ingá and Décimas y poemas Afroperuanos. In 1964 he recorded a four-album set Cumanana

He made his theater debut in 1957 at the Teatro Municipal de Chile, with the company Pancho Fierro, in a show called Black Rhythms of Peru. He also ventured into journalism, radio and television. During his travels he continued to participate in events promoting Afro-Peruvian folklore, notably his address at the first Black Arts Festival, held in Cañete, in August 1971. He also traveled to Africa in 1974, where he participated in the symposium Négritude et Amérique Latine. That same year he traveled to Cuba and México, participating in a series of television programs, as well as later trips to Japan (1976), Colombia (1978), Cuba (1979), Panama (1980).

In 1980 he moved to Madrid, where he lived until his death, working as a journalist at Radio Exterior de España. In 1987 he began collaborating in preparing a series of LP record albums "Espana en su Folklore", a collection of songbooks from Spain and America. In 1989 he taught a seminar on African culture in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and the following year participated in the expedition Adventure 92, touring ports in Mexico and Central America.

He died of lung cancer on February 5, 1992 after surgery at the Clinical Hospital in Madrid.

In 2010 the Peruvian hip-hop group "Comité Pokoflo" released a tribute song named "Tributo a Nicomedes" in their moxtape "El Grito"


  • Gente Morena (1957)
  • Nicomedes Santa Cruz y Su Conjunto Kumanana (1959)
  • Ingá (1960)
  • Décimas y Poemas (1960)
  • Cumanana. Poemas y canciones (1964)
  • Cumanana. Antología afroperuana (1965,1970)
  • Octubre mes morado (1964)
  • Canto negro (1968)
  • América negra (1972)
  • Nicomedes en Argentina (1973)
  • Socabón. Introducción al folclor musical y danzario de la costa peruana (1975)
  • España en su folclor (1987)

[edit]Written Works

  • Décimas (1959, 1960, 1966)
  • Cumanana (1960)
  • Canto a mi Perú (1966)
  • Décimas y poemas: antología (1971)
  • Ritmos negros del Perú (Buenos Aires,1973)
  • Rimactampu; rimas al Rímac (1972)
  • La décima en el Perú (Lima 1982)
  • Como has cambiado pelona (chincha 1959)
  • chala (1963)
  • De ser como soy me alegro
  • Acocachos Aprendí: La escuelita (1958)

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