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Chamin Correa renowned Mexican guitarist

Chamin Correa (1929–2020), renowned Mexican guitarist

by Kirk Fox

Chamin Correa was a Mexican guitarist known for playing romantic songs on the requinto, a smaller, higher-pitched cousin to the guitar. Performing solo and with the group Los Tres Caballeros, Correa had a decades-long career beginning with his first fame in the 1950s. He recorded with superstars including José José, Dave Brubeck, Gloria Estefan, and Joan Baez. Correa was particularly known for playing boleros, a type of love song.

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Died: January 14, 2020 (Who else died on January 14?)

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Details of death: Died in Cuernavaca, Mexico of a heart attack at the age of 90.


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The young guitarist: Correa learned to play guitar when he was just five years old, learning from his musical family. Before his teens, he was playing for audiences in Mexico City. But when he was 15, in a story he related to the Mexican newspaper Reforma, his father almost kicked him out of the house for spending too much time playing his requinto. It was only after he buckled down and proved his love for the instrument – and skill with it – that his dad let him come back home.

Notable quote: “As long as there are women, there will be good boleros expressing a love for them.”

What people said about him: “Hard to explain what a lovely man was Chamin Correa. Harder to explain in English, for he was a deeply sentimental man. Every Spanish speaker’s mother knows a few of his tunes. With him passes an era.” —Twitter user @TubunMuzuru

“An infinite number of people were helped by him. He knew how to direct with tons and tons of precision.”  —Mexican musician Carlos Cuevas

Full obituary: The Washington Post

Related lives:

  • José José (1948–2019), Mexico’s “Prince of Song”
  • Celso Pina (1953–2019), legendary Mexican accordionist
  • Juan Gabriel (1950–2016), legendary Mexican singer

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