Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cigars & Cachao

Today the world suffers another tragedy through the passing of Israel "Cachao" Lopez. I'm no musicologist, but I don't have to be to know this is a sad, sad day. Along with his brother, Cachao invented Mambo; we should all be sooo talented. And my profound love for Cuban music was cemented when I heard the Master Sessions I album for the first time: and I fall in love with those albums every time I hear them. For years I worked 14 hour days "on the floor" and I wouldn't have made it without the music. We have played his music in my shops for decades, and now we will play it some more. I can't help but write about this topic because I have seen many living-legends die, including Celia and Compay. These one-of-a-kind human works-of-art have shaped and lifted innumerable lives. Its sad to think about so many profound losses... but perhaps invigorating too. To paraphrase some wise historical figure I cannot remember: 'every man dies, but not every man lives', and 'life is for the living'.

Remember, In the cigar business we still have a few living legends left. And we would not be enjoying our 'Golden Age of Cigar Making' without these extraordinary gentlemen and women. The oral traditions which they carry and share are the intangible glue that holds this industry together: every great cigar exists because there was a great cigar maker to manifest themselves and hundreds of years of knowledge and tradition through it. I would suggest everyone pick up the phone this week and call one of our living-legends, thank them for their Sacrifice, Focus, & Commitment. Like great musicians who lift us up with their artistry, cigar makers deserve a little applause.

PS: Until today, I had no idea when I would taste that pre-revolution Bacardi in the picture.... Gracias Hermano. Como Tu Ritmo No Hay Dos.

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