Chabela: star in Guadeloupe, unknown in Cuba

On Wednesday, May 2, from 8:00 pm, a musical tribute will be paid to Cuban singer Chabela, at the Sonis Cultural Center. The public is invited to attend this vigil in memory of this artist who became famous in Guadeloupe but who was unknown in her country, Cuba.

Album de Chabela
The album “Yo te regalé” was released in 2014.

On Monday, April 23, Guadeloupe heard the terrible news: Chabela died. The Cuban singer had been suffering from a brain tumor for some time and, after an malaise, last February, her friends from Guadeloupe had contributed to repatriate her urgently to her island. Some believed Cuban medicine which is well advanced would have found a cure for her disease…

The sudden death of the artist seemed almost unreal to many people because they always found her so beautiful and happy… That was still the case in November 2016 at the Memorial ACTe in Pointe-à-Pitre, one of her last public appearances. Indeed, Chabela was radiant in a long white dress during the recital “9 Poètes d’Îles entre Elles” by Guadeloupean singer Winny Kaona, a show with Cuban musicians produced by the association “Cuba Coopération Guadeloupe”.

The artist who was nicknamed “The most Guadeloupean of the Cubans” had arrived in Guadeloupe in 1995. Before, she was a member of the band “Habana Son” with which she sang in several countries. During these 20 last years, Ysabel Rosell Lam – born in 1964 IN Guanabacoa (a town located about twenty kilometers from the center of Havana) and graduated in 1990 from the Higher Institute for the Arts in Havana – was able to build a career in her adopted island, she had released records, she had worked with Guadeloupean artists (who certainly hoped to be known in Cuba thanks to her, which was never the case), she had performed on stage, taught piano and singing…

In Guadeloupe, following the death of the singer and pianist, there were news releases from cultural and political circles, her fans also expressed their sorrow. This Wednesday, May 2 at 8:00 pm, a musical vigil, organized among others by “Cuba Coopération Guadeloupe” and the city of Pointe-à-Pitre, will take place at the Sonis Cultural Center in the presence of her friends, her students and artists who worked with her. The public is invited to participate in this farewell moment to Chabela who was a star in Guadeloupe but an unknown in Cuba. “We do not know this singer. She was not famous or popular. Here, we know Chavela Vargas who is a Mexican singer (…)”, they said in Cuba after the death of Chabela.