Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ibae: Manuel Martinez Olivera "El Llanero Solitario"

I got a message from Lisa Maya Knauer early this morning with the following information:

Manuel Martinez, better known to many as "El llanero solitario", died
on Friday, January 29. Manuel made an indelible mark on the New York
rumba scene after he arrived in the Mariel boatlift, teaching, inspiring
and collaborating with dozens, if not more, enthusiasts. He was a
mainstay of the Central Park rumba, as well as some pioneering musical
ensembles like Chevere Macun Chevere and Los Afortunados.

He had been in failing health for the last several years. Over the years, many friends, proteges and fellow musicians took Manuel
in, and tried to help him find a more stable living situation, but for
the last several years, as his health declined, he was in a nursing
home in the Bronx. In recent years, only a small number of people
stayed directly involved with him. I'll leave it to
others to share their thoughts and recollections of Manuel, as I only
got to know him pretty late in the game (mid to late 1990s).

Funeral arrangements are being made at San Francisco/First Ave. Funeral
Services, First Avenue and 115 St. Once date and time for the viewing
have been set, we will send you the information.

Lisa Maya Knauer


Manuel Martinez Olivera (1930-2010), Viewing Monday, February 1, 3-10
p.m. at San Francisco/First Avenue Funeral Services, 2242 First Avenue
(btwn 115-116 St., across from Camaradas).

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