The four band members, now known as Gema 4, specialized throughout their extensive training in singing, choir directing and musicology. From the time they were very young, they sang regularly in the choir at the music conservatory where they studied. This was where they received their first inspiration to do something different. The idea they had was that of bringing back old songs along with a few forgotten genres which the youth of the time either no longer listened to or had little knowledge of, and then performing it all a capella. They paid particularly close attention to Bolero, to another genre known as ‘Feeling’ which they were close to along with traditional songs associated with the genre known as ‘Son’. In 1994, the quartet recorded their first album titled, “Grandes Boleros a Capella”, rated 5 stars by the cult magazine “Le Monde de la Musique”.
The year 1996 saw the release of “Te Voy a Dar” and which received the prestigious EGREM music award, shared with another album of Cuban music titled “Una Forma Mas”, released by the Cuban sextet Vocal Sampling. Towards the end of 1998, the quartet settled in Barcelona, a city which, over the years, had come to be like a second home. “Gemas” (2000), also includes some songs with instrumental accompaniment. The album follows the line of versions of Cuban composers, albeit closer in time, such as Silvio Rodriguez. Throughout its’ artistic career, the quartet has shared the stage on an international level with important artists such as Eddie Palmieri, Irakere, Hernan Lopez-Nussa, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Vocal Sampling, Ramon Valle, Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo.
On October 12th, 2004, Estela Guzman Vega died in Barcelona at 42 years of age after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. The remaining members of the quartet were silent for two years, a period which was to be dedicated to mourning the loss of their friend and healing from said loss, the tragedy of which feels like an injustice even to this day. In the year 2006, the Israeli singer Tal Ben-Ari is invited to join Gema 4 as their new lead vocalist. Gema 4 was once again destined for the stage with its’ return in the summer of 2006 whereupon they performed in the closing ceremony of the 1st International Festival of Acapella groups in Barcelona, otherwise known by its’ acronym as BACAP.
“For a new dream” (2013) is the latest release of the quartet.
Gema 4 can be heard singing on the song “A Better Place, on the PFC3 album. Become a PFC Member and receive all videos and songs from both “PFC3 Songs Around The World” AND “PFC2″ as digital downloads, access to exclusive content including behind-the-scenes footage, unreleased episodes, and more.
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