‘Uncle Juan Rita’, the oldest repentista poet, dies at 108

The Murcian troubadour Juan Tudela, better known as ‘Tío Juan Rita’ and considered the repentista poet – repentismo is a form of typical oral popular poetry in which everything is improvised except the structure – the oldest in the world, he died yesterday, at 108 years, according to his family revealed to the Totana City Council (Murcia), the town where he lived.

Born in Aledo (Murcia) on February 14, 1912, he became famous throughout the country for improvising poetic texts about folk music at parties and meetings of groups of the Spanish Levant, for which he was considered a cultural treasure that he displayed in I live the ancestral tradition of the Murcian trovo.

He was the longest-lived repentista poet in the world, surpassing the record of the 101-year-old Cuban Sindo Garay, according to the Totana City Council, where he was an Adoptive Son. Admired for his ability to improvise quatrains, stretches or tenths, his grandson Javier Andreo, the current mayor of Aledo, used to accompany him and act as a guide when he went out on the road with the groups and parties. Totana already gave him the title of Adoptive Child in 2010 and in February 2012, coinciding with his 100 years, he paid an institutional tribute with the inauguration of a square that bears his name. The regional government awarded him the Gold Medal two years ago for representing “the living legacy of the traditions of Murcia.”


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