Numerous Cuban musicians have notably made use of the tres, a guitar-like three-course chordophone, in their music. But in the last decades, one “tresero,” or “tresista” as he prefers to be called, has expanded the horizons of the instrument and placed his very singular imprint on his interpretations: Francisco Leonel Amat Rodríguez, better known as “Pancho” Amat. Born in Güira de Melena, Cuba, in 1950, Pancho Amat has a vocation for music since his childhood days.
Considered the absolute master of the tres by many, Pancho Amat has been majorly influenced by musicians like Félix Chapotín, Miguelito Cuní, Carlos Embale, Tata Güines and Richard Egües. He founded the group Manguaré in the early 70’s and elevated tres-playing to a whole new level by applying theory and technique gleaned from jazz. After playing with the group for 17 years, Pancho Amat joined Adalberto Álvarez and his band. After leaving the band in 1995, his career went on a meteoric rise and consecrated himself as an imperative figure of today’s panoramic Cuban music scene. He is currently the band leader of El cabildo del son and their skillful performance on stage keeps awakening the most enthusiastic applauses in all continents.