The Dominican composer, Víctor Taveras, died this Sunday afternoon at the Dr. Ramón De Lara Hospital, due to health complications.
“Our colleague and friend Victor Taveras has just passed away. The music continues to mourn this irreparable loss. Peace to his remains ”, the musician Jochy Sanchez expressed in his social networks.
Víctor Taveras had more than four decades in music. His training has allowed him to develop an important musical career, through which he has accompanied great solo artists, both national and international. His beginning in music occurred in adolescence, playing guitar, bass, accordion; giving serenades throughout Santiago with a group of friends.
Taveras was recognized as “Distinguished Son of Santiago”, in addition, his name was introduced in the Great Dominicans book. But what he described as an unforgettable moment was when the Águilas Cibaeñas invited him to throw the first ball in a baseball game in the city of Santiago.
He was born in Estancia Nueva, a field in Moca, there I studied until the eighth grade, I attended school in the morning and in the afternoon I helped around the house, did errands on a donkey, because the grocery store was withdrawn. I also helped my dad, as he was the only boy in the house. His mother was called Isabel Henríquez, his father David Taveras, he was a farmer, he was crazy about music, he was so fascinated by it that if he heard someone serenade, he would get up and call my mother to make them a sancocho. My dad never saw me play, he died when I was 12 years old.
Although I never saw her, her friends told me that Mom played the guitar, she always told me that she had become an artist. Mama was a dressmaker, she was a great embroiderer of fabrics, with her sewing machine and her shoelaces she raised four boys, three females and I, who am the third. My mother died two years ago, she was 99 years old. My sisters are called Adalgisa, Altagracia and María Leddy, who died years ago ”.
About six months after the death of his father, mother, he sold part of the farm and we moved to Santiago, there I began a new life. He studied at the Liceo Ulises Francisco Espaillat, he did his errands on foot, because the grocery stores were close by.
I thought I was going to be a baseball player, I played baseball with the Eagles team, but one day they hit me in the right eye, I didn’t play for three months, I couldn’t see well. At that time, a boy named Orlando lent me a guitar, he taught me the first chords. I started playing with a group of boys, including William Román and Nelson Ruiz, we did it in a Chinese restaurant called El Brillante, after one thousand and one nights, because it didn’t taste good. As I did not drink or smoke, between sets, I would move to the piano, the pianist would teach me some things. So I was learning. In another restaurant, Hotel Camino Real, while I was playing, we were embarrassed, none of us could read a sheet music, we couldn’t read music, so a musician friend got me a piano teacher named Eileen Pichardo, whom I adore, she he taught me to read music ”.
Eileen gave me piano lessons for six years. I remember when I went to her, I explained to her that I played a little, but that I did not know how to read music, she did not accept it, so she asked me to play a little. Her husband, who liked to sing, when he listened to me, he asked me if I could accompany him in a bolero, I said yes. When he finished singing, he told me that he had a scholarship, then he asked Eileen how much the school charged, she told him that 40 pesos a month, he said no, that I had a scholarship, but that I had to accompany him to sing Well, what he did was that before classes he accompanied him in his singing. Then, in 1978, some North American professors came to the Santiago Cultural Center, they were brought by then-president Antonio Guzmán, with them I studied flute for three years, but I continued with the piano as well. I was one of the students selected for a scholarship to finish that course at the University of Detroit, it was the first time I had a passport in hand, that I was traveling abroad, that was in 1981. What started as a hobby relaxing, it became a professional career ”.
Fat Man of the Week
He came to Santo Domingo to musically direct the Freddy Veras Goico programs. When that, he played at the Hotel Camino Real, he was the director of the little group, there I met him and Jorge Taveras, who although we were relatives, we did not treat each other. Freddy greeted me with his little finger, he told me to leave the hotel, to leave Santiago, he told him where I was going to go, if that was the best job there was. One fathers day I came to the Fatty of the Week, at first Freddy did not want me to come, because it was a very big responsibility, but then he accepted. I came prepared, Jorge had taught me the subject, all the things that were done in the program, and I also watched. I remember Freddy telling me I’m going to stay with you, here you have to be on time, here you vote alone. Since he spoke Cibaeño, he enjoyed talking to me a lot, he couldn’t stop laughing, but he didn’t know that it was my Cibaeño accent that was laughing. With Freddy I learned to work, to be responsible, if it was coordinated at an hour, he was half an hour earlier. In the Fat of the Week I lasted 20 years. I was also at Punto Final, that was a show, we played jazz, merengue, we put Tavito Vásquez to play the saxophone, Beltré on the trumpet, for me it is the best thing that has happened on television, in addition to the group of comedians I had at La School, which was created by Freddy. It is still in theaters in the theater, we have been two years, we have done more than 10 performances. Freddy for me was the most complete artist ”.
The Noon Show
He was musical director of El Show del Mediodía, his presenter was Yaqui Núñez. There I related to great comedians, there was Freddy himself, Cuquín Victoria, Felipe Polanco, among many others, all great friends. I was also the musical director of the Cuentos y Cantos program, which belonged to the Televisa people, along with Anthony Ríos, Jochy, Felipe Polanco … We had a great orchestra, every day someone sang, I got many national and international clients like Danny Rivera , La Sophi, whose arranger I was for many years. I was also Anthony’s arranger until the day he died. “
Producer and presenter
He was the producer and presenter of the program Con Música lo Cuento with Nany Peña on Channel 21, which belonged to my friend Javier González, who died some time ago, he was a consul in Miami. The first year was very cool, but a lover of Nany arrived and they got married, so I looked for Tati Salas. After a while they sold the channel, the program disappeared, because the conditions that the new owners put on us did not suit us. We enjoyed ourselves very much, we had many guests. The program lasted two years, it can be said that the entire Dominican artist passed through there ”.
He had two productions entitled Entre Sol y Luna and Sonidos del Camino. The first was composed in 1995, it is a very beautiful production that was bought by the Banco Gerencial y Fiduciario, but after it disappeared they gave it to me to sell on the street. This has been many years ago and they still play that music on the Raíces station and on the Tutín program in Santiago, but the only one that mentions my name is on Raíces. On my second record, there is a song that was chosen for the script of a Hollywood movie called The Intervention, that was in 2005. I don’t remember the thousands of records that we sold. Right now I have a production that is in the middle ”.
Musically he directed many international singers, but the most tractable are the Puerto Ricans, the least tractable are the Spanish. From Puerto Rico I have accompanied Danny Rivera, Chucho Avellanet, Lucecita Benítez, Irma Bruno, Los Hispanos, La Sophy. From Mexico to José José, Raúl Vale, Marco Antonio Muñiz; From Venezuela, not conducting, but playing, I have accompanied Ricardo Montaner, Pecos Cambas; and from Spain to Rocío Jurado, Braulio and Raphael, of whom he was a keyboardist. I remember that for a presentation of the Jury at the Lina, we had to rehearse at two in the afternoon, she arrived five hours later, she wanted us to start again, I said no, she was late, I told her that I am a man field, punctual, and that the trumpeters were tired of playing so much. I remember that no matter how brave he was, we didn’t rehearse. Raphael is not a tractable person either, he does not speak with the musicians, only with the director, the Spanish have other customs, they have a different approach to musicians that is very different from us. They miss us musicians here, in other countries we are just a number ”.
Wife and sons
His wife, Elsa Alonso is an economist, a pensioner of the Banco de Reservas, we have three children, David, Jorge Tomás and Vanessa, the youngest, all professionals. The males are already married, but the female still lives with us. I met my wife in 1978 at the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, I was studying civil engineering, although I never graduated, because I dedicated myself fully to music. Then she moved in front of my house, we lasted a year and a half in love and then we got married, we were married for 42 years ”.
He was director of the Dominican Air Force Orchestra for 23 years. I came from the hand of the trumpeter Armando Beltré, but the one who gave character to that orchestra was General Rojas Tavar, who apart from being my friend, was the one who thought of looking for the best musicians to make a super band. We did it, and all the chiefs of staff who followed Rojas Tavar continue to maintain it. It’s the pretty girl. When it comes to representing the country as a military orchestra, it is ours that does it, we play music by all our artists. Thank God we still have that great orchestra. It is very cool”. l
Once, together with the Papa Molina Orchestra, I directed a show that Ney Nilo did at the Hotel Lina. I remember that when he finished singing, people started clapping, the announcer who was from Lina asked for more applause for me, so when I was bowing to the audience, I didn’t realize that they had closed the curtain behind me, when I gave the I turned around, crashed and got tangled up with her, I couldn’t find a way out, so I went under. That was a terrible shame, I didn’t leave the room until the last person came out. I was very serene, Santiago was a bohemian city, when we gave serenades, there were people who accompanied us without being musicians. On one occasion one of the group approached me, Víctor told me, there are some ducks, we are going to steal one to make a sancocho, I said yes, then the duck bolted up, what we did not know was that the duck was from cement. My friend got a hole in his chest with the duck’s beak, we had to run with him to the hospital, he couldn’t breathe, luckily he didn’t get older.
Being a professional musician, they hired me to play at a wedding at the Las Mercedes Church, it was at six in the afternoon, I arrived at five to organize everything in time, I always like to arrive early for my commitments. Already installed, I see a bride entering the church, I started to play at once. After I am disassembling the instruments, the boy who hired me arrived, he asked me what was going on, I told him that we had finished, then he told me that now his wedding was going to start. It means that I gave a free wedding to a couple ”.
Mom was a dressmaker, she was a great embroiderer of fabrics, the entire field commissioned her jobs, even from New York they made her orders. With her sewing machine and her shoelaces, she raised four children.
My dad was crazy about music, it fascinated him so much that if someone gave a serenade, when that was with a snack, he would get up and call my mom to get up to make a sancocho for those people.
My dad never saw me play, he died when I was 12 years old, so about six months after his death, we moved to Santiago ”.
Eileen Pichardo, whom I adore, was my first piano teacher, with her I spent six years taking classes. She taught me to read music ”.
I came to Santo Domingo to musically direct the Freddy Veras Goico programs. With him I learned to work, to be responsible ”.