Isolina Carrillo was a distinguished composer, pianist and choir conductor. She was born in Havana, on December 9th, 1907. Since her childhood, she was in touch with musical work due to the fact that her father was a musician. Even as a child, she was part of a band that her father directed. Nevertheless, her systematic work as a composer did not start until the 1940’sdecade.
Within her work, we can appreciate songs like Canción sin Amor, SombraqueBesa, Increible, and Dos Gardenias.Through her artistic life, Isolina Carrillo also performed as a piano accompanist and performer at the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (InstitutoCubano de Radio y Televisión).
In the last years of her life, she was the mainicon and host of the restaurant and cultural center named after the most popular of her pieces: Dos Gardenias. Respecting this specific song, Isolina said: “Dos Gardenias is simply an anthem of love. It does not say that I do not love you, that I despise you, neither that I mistreat you. It so happens that the public liked it, and it became a huge success”.
Her husband Guillermo Arronte was a baritone of the National Opera, and he premiered this musical creation that was registered on April 23rd, 1947, and which had a huge impact during her long tour through South America. After that, the Puerto Rican Daniel Santos included it in his repertoire, who performed the first recording of the song and made it internationally popular, counting with Dámaso Pérez Prado’s orchestration. Later, it was sung by other relevant interpreters.
She started to be considered as one of the legends of bolero in the Caribbean, Latin America, and in other parts of the world. Respecting her composing method, Isolina Carrillo pointed out that she first looked for the melody, and then the lyrics, the latter would suggest the title. When she mentioned what motivated her to create her songs she said: “My creations are not autobiographic. I listen to stories, I observe, discover, and from that experience I take the necessary material. Everything is born from love. Life is love”.
Isolina Carrillo also constitutes the first author to set the text of a Cuban advertisement agency to music, thus she is considered a pioneer of jingle in our country.
In 1942, she participated in the first danzon giant orchestra. After that, she starts changing rhythms within her musical creations, all of this with the SiboneyEnsemble. With this, she created a precedent for all the bands that surged after, making ingenious rhythmical assemblies in old traditional melodies that the radio made popular. She was also the teacher of several generations of Cuban artists. Isolina Carrillo passed away on February 21st, 1996, in Havana.
The Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) is the institution within the Cuban state that is in charge of directing and controlling the public policies for the radio and television, and also to contribute to the satisfaction of the growing informational, educational, and cultural needs of the audience. It was founded on 1962. It is currently a member of the Ibero-American Television Organization, and an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union.
It is a well-known cultural and gastronomical center located in Havana, which is named after a famous musical creation: Dos Gardenias. It is located on 7th avenue and 26th street, in Miramar. This establishment was inaugurated in 1994. It comprises several restaurants like the Gambina, specialized in Italian food; El Bodeguero, Cuban food; and the Shangai, Chinese and Cantonese food. This center also comprises the Pain de Paris, a liquor store/candy store, and a Casa del Tabaco (Cigar Store).