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Julius and Caesar

From the July anniversaries due to the departure of beloved and valuable musicians such as Felipe Pirela (July 2, 1972), Compay Segundo (July 13, 2003) and Celia Cruz (July 16, 2003), to festive birth anniversaries of other musicians such as Oscar D'León (July 11, 1943), Cheo Feliciano (July 3, 1935), Joseíto Rodríguez (the timbalero of the Latin Dimension, July 4, 1949), Julio Estrada Fruko (7 July 1951) and Gualberto Ibarreto (July 12, 1947), to mention a few, July consecrates our Declaration of Independence (July 5, 1811).

However, at the end of June and the beginning of July we had a couple of shocking musical news: valuable belongings were stolen from César “Albóndiga” Monges, founder of La Dimensión Latina, and Marcial Istúriz, a vocalist who recently joined La Dimensión. It happened in Madrid, the city where they arrived to begin the European tour of the famous Venezuelan orchestra.

The discomfort that this generated in Gordo Monges culminated in a heart attack, which fortunately could be overcome after surgery. The information arriving speaks of Monges recovering and indicates that the tour will not be suspended. They also talk about the timely attention of both the hospital staff and the staff of the Venezuelan consulate in Madrid, who have behaved accordingly, with solvency, affection and solidarity.

Monges, who is now 74 years old, was born on February 26, 1950 in Caracas and long before the Dimension he was already linked to music. His father was a bassist and his grandfather was a guitarist. “Meatball” came to the trombone by chance.

We wish the best to Monges and the Latin Dimension, Venezuelan musical heritage, hoping that this European tour, once the mishaps have been overcome, will be successful and make way for many more.


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