In 1997, Eduardo (El Ruso) got together a group of talented young musicians with the idea of forming a group that could play the traditional music of the area as well as popular Cuban melodies.
They began to play at various hotels and local festivals, building up their musical talent and their popularity. Within 4 years the group was able to record their first CD, entitled To 5 in the Morning. This was done at the prestigious EGREEM studio in Santiago de Cuba.
The force of this group, apart from their excellent musicianship, is the charisma of El Ruso. The public respond to him and he, in turn, enlivens the crowd. He has an innate ability to know what the people want and then he gives it to them. His humorous improvised lyrics are famous and he is always joking and kibitzing with the audience.
El Ruso y su Banda have had the privilege of sharing the stage with some famous Cuban artists such as Compay Segundo, Silvio Rodriguez and performing in front of both Cuban and international celebrities. They represented Guantanamo province at the International Fair called Expo Cuba and performed in various well known locales in Havana such as la Casa de la Música de Miramar, El Gato Tuerto, la Discoteca de Progreso, en Así de Rebelde, Alegrías de Sobremesa, and Un Domingo con Rosillo
El Ruso and the group have also performed in various festivals such as the Festival de Boleros in Baracoa, The Guantanamera Festival, National Festival de Changui and the National Event of TURNAT. They have received many accolades and certificates of recognition for participating in such activities as Fidel Castros 80th Birthday, and Assembly of the Power of the People.
They continue today to work on improving the extent and breadth of their repertoire, and the quality of their musicianship. Their popularity continues.
Eduardo Navaro Toirac ( El Ruso) - Dirctor/Singer and guiro
Eduardo, El Ruso, began his musical career at age 8 when he participated in various musical activities at the Ho Chi Min School in Guantanamo. Some of the groups he played with in his formative years are: A Group of Young Pioneers, Las Camillitos, Group 467, Mereson, and Conjunto Campesino Guama.
Deciding to go it on his own, he formed the group Quarteto Tropical and with this group had his first experience as a director.
In 1997 he had the idea to expand the size and scope of his original quartet with more members. Ruso saw a need to form a group who could play both traditional and popular music. Under Ruso’s directorship, the group has enjoyed a popular success, not only provincially, but nationally as well. His charisma makes the group very popular wherever they go.
Jose Andres Debros Olivero - Percussion
Jose was interested in music from a youngster and participated in various musical groups, one of which was the Young Pioneers. While studying agronomy, he participated in extra curricular music activities. It was only in the move to Baracoa in 1986 that he began to think of music as a career. There he joined various amateur groups such as Amistad, Avance, la 467, Maritza y su Grupo, and Orquesta IDEA.
Jose credits Carlos Hernandez Mulén (Carlos Hernandez y su Banda Tropical) as his first serious teacher in the art of percussion. With the Orquesta IDEA he participated in the inauguration of the Hotel Port Santos, now 20 years old. The Orquesta IDEA was changed to Septeto IDEA and continued for 5 more years.
In 1995 he joined the Municipal Concert Band of Baracoa and with this group participated in various cultural events such as the Disembarkation of Jose Marti in Cajobabo beach and the Club of Danzon music for the older crowd. The band even traveled to Moa to participate in the opening of the Canadian/Cuban nickel mine.
After short time with Orquesta Baracoa, the proving ground for most Baracoa musicians, he joined up with El Ruso y su Banda in 2000. With Ruso’s group he has performed in front of various dignitaries and has had the honour of sharing the stage with the likes of Compay Segundo and Silvio Rodriguez.
With this group he has traveled the length and breadth of Cuba. Jose is the representative of El Ruso and has the big job of organizing and carrying out the group’s tours plus all their marketing and publicity.
Samuel Turro Campos - Bass
Samuel had an early start to his musical career at school participating in various school music festivals until he joined his first group called Son Juvenil. Since then he has been a part of diverse groups such as Grupo Amistad, Maritza y su Grupo, Grupo Meresón, and Grupo 467.
Orquesta Baracoa was his home for 3 years in Baracoa. At that time he got serious about becoming a professional and to this end attended the professional music school in Guantanamo.
A short time with Orquesta Charanga Baracoesa and Samuel settled in to play with El Ruso.
Caesar Enrique Paomier Frometa - Percussion.
Cesar’s first group was the popular 467. He later joined such groups as Maritza y su Grupo, Típica Juvenil del 70 and Cacique, Guamá. This variety of groups and genres served him well as he can play a huge variety of rhythms.
Caesar has attended the professional music school in Guantanamo and is classed as a professional. Today you will find him as one of the foundations of El Ruso's group.
Wilfredis Navarro Calderin - Tres and singer
Wilfredis is another early starter down the musical career path. In 1978 at the Polytechnic School 43 Degrees of Happiness, he played in various groups. Upon his graduation in 1982 he joined the military and while doing his compulsory service was able to pursue his musical career.
Upon returning to Baracoa he joined the group Maravilla Yunquena as a tres player. With this group he learned many traditional songs of Baracoa and participated in many folk festivals such as The Meeting of Tres Players. A stint with Septeto Colonial served to perfect his tres playing.
The year 1997 found him with El Ruso y su Banda where he attained professional status. To this day he combines his knowledge of traditional music with the more popular danceable tunes to serve as an expert melodic line for the group.
Vladimir Milhet Rodriguez - Guitar and singer
Vlad comes from a musical family. His father was one of the first members of the Orquesta Baracoa and so he grew up around musicians. At school he participated in various young people’s music groups until graduation. A Tour of Angola as a wandering minstrel entertaining the Cuban troops served to hone his musical skills. In 1986 along with the group 467, he participated in many prestigious events.
In 1990 Vlad got to be a part of his father’s old group, Orquesta Baracoa. There he was both a vocalist and a pianist. He maintained his solo career as a troubadour by singing in the Casa de la Trova, Baracoa. In this same Casa de la Trova he formed a part of Septeto Colonial, a traditional music group.
Today you will find him in El Ruso. This multi-talented musician is an important part of the melodic talent of the group.
Yoandres Albert Perez - Maracas and singer
Yoandres started his serious musical studies in 1990 at Art School. There he specialised in the saxophone and played in lots of various musical events.
Later he joined the group Juventud and played in various activities such as Baracoa Nights.
In 2003 Carlos Hernandez asked him to join his group as percussionist and with his help Yoandres also greatly improved his singing ability.
In 2004 he became a percussionist in the group, Orquesta Baracoa. Then, in August of 2008, he joined El Ruso’s group. Because of the groups’ popularity, Yoandres has had the opportunity to share the stage with such famous Cuban groups as Original de Manzanillo, Son 14, and Candido Fabre.
Pedro Lambert Miranda - Musical director and arranger/trombone
A Baracoa boy, Pedro knew from the age of 5 he wanted to be a musician. His specialty was music right from the beginning until he graduated from the School of Art Instructors in 1978. That same year he started a teaching career and in 1984 attained intermediate level as a music instructor.
Pedro is an alumnus of the Banda Municipal and Orquesta Baracoa, Septeto Colonial and Grupo Las Polimitas. With the Polimitas he had the opportunity to be a part of two tours of France.
In 1997 trombonist Pedro attained the highest level possible in the State run evaluation for his technical ability.
Because of his musical schooling, he functions as the musical director of El Ruso y su Banda. He takes this job seriously and strives to improve the quality of the group’s performance each time they play. This attention to detail shows in the advanced skill level of the group and the tightness of their musical numbers.
Jose Rafael Campello Caballero - Trumpet
From a musical family, this Baracoesan started his career path in the secondary school Glicerio Blanco Lores. There he specialized in the trumpet. Playing in lots of amateur groups was good practice, for he has attained the 3rd level of musicianship evaluation and is always working toward attaining the highest level. With his trumpet he has participated in countless parades and Dianas Mambisa.
Today you will find him with El Ruso y su Banda as an important part of the horn section.
Jose Luis Cuza Fuentes - Tenor saxophone
In 1983 Luis started taking clarinet lessons at the Casa Cultura and it was a natural progression to take up another wind instrument, the saxophone. He developed his musical talent with the Municipal Band of Baracoa. Throughout his studies in economy he continued to play in various musical groups such as Amistad. Although he graduated as an economist, Jose took over directorship of the Orquesta Baracoa.
While with the Orquesta, he attained the second level evaluation for the saxophone and passed his intermediate level in the Professional Music School in Guantanamo. In 2007 he joined with El Ruso and opened up his musical world.
|Title of Song||Type||Author|
|A LA 5 DE LA MAÑANA||Cumbia||LUIS FRANK|
|REO POR UN BESO||SALSA||JULIAN REY|
|INMENSO AMOR||Cha Cha Cha||EDGAR TERRERO|
|TE QUISE ASI||Bolero||HERMES VAILLAN|
|ELLA NO ESTA MAL||Son||SAMUEL TURRO|
|LA FORMULA||Bachata||CANDIDO FABRE|
|EL CHARARAN||Son||CANDIDO FABRE|
|EL SUIN||Merengue||HNOS ROSARIO|
|QUE DETALLE||Changui||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|LA GUAGUITA DE SAN FERNANDO||CUMBIA||PEDRO LAMBERT|
|EN CARNAVAL||Son||CANDIDO FABRE|
|PLENA DE MARIA||Plena||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|LA MASUCAMBA||Son-Fusion||OSCAR D´LEON|
|AL QUE LE SIRVA EL TRAJE||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|HIJO DE CHANGO||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|CON FE Y ALEGRIA||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|HACIENDO PAPELAZO||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|ME TIENES SIN CUIDAO||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|POR QUE ME CRITICAS||Changui||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|QUE DETALLE||Changui||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|CUANDO TIN TIENE||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|COMENZO LA PELOTA||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|SERIE NACIONAL||La Plena||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|LA VUELTA||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|RICO CHOCOLATE||Son||EDUARDO NAVARRO|
|MI GUAJIRITA||Merengue||PEDRO LAMBERT|
|EL LUNARCITO||Merengue||PEDRO LAMBERT|
|EL TETI||Merengue||EDUARDO CUBA|
|ACTO DE LA VIDA||Bolero Son||GPO MANGUARE|
|FUENTE DE EMOCION||Son||HERMES VAILLAN|
|SOY HIJO DE ESTA TIERRA||Son||HERMES VAILLAN|