Early life and career
His parents were Nicasio Armas Figueroa and Modesta Enguaima Hernandez. He has four brothers and sisters; Domingo, Algeria, Felipa and Margoth. When he was nine his family traveled from Los Guatacaros to Caño Morocho near Zaraza, and it was there at the age of 11, that he began to take part with local musicians in parrandas and dances. At the age of twelve composes his first song: Mi Primer Amor (My first Love). At the age of 15 makes debut in a dominical program of Radio Zaraza lead by Pompeyo Higuera, soon he enters in the gaita group Los Bravos de la Loma for which he composed several carols and aguinaldos, under the direction of the teacher Jose Antonio Blanca of the Copleros de Unare.
At the age of 16, participates in a contrapunteo festival that was made in El Faro club, and makes trophy and money from the attending public. With 17 years travels to Caracas, and started to sing in night clubs, but for folkloric music, there were only a few clubs available.
His first idol was José Romero Bello, a very respected singer and composer and one of the first interpreters of “Florentino y el Diablo”, also next to El Carrao de Palmarito. Reynaldo Armas was baptized with the pseudonym El Cardenal Sabanero when he traveled with Romero Bello to San Fernando de Apure and participated in the festival “Cantaclaro de Oro” singing a version of the Florentino de Oro. This was in 1973, and he obtained second place out of 18 participants. In 1975 he returned to the festival and took first place, the same in Valencia, Venezuela with the “Cucarachero de Oro”, in San Carlos of Austria wins as composer, the Miranda de Oro in Los Teques and many but like contrapunteador and solo singer. Between 1975 and 1976 he records two singles, first with the name: Mi primer Amor y Cariño fingido and the second: Recorriendo a Venezuela and El Revolucionario.
In 1977 Reynaldo Armas records his first LP with the support of Rafael Martínez Arteaga El Cazador Novato, that in that time was with greatly popular in Venezuela and Colombia with several folkloric poems. Yo También quiero cantar was the name of that album, it was not a success in the radios, because in that time the folk music only sounded in certain programs at night and in the TV wasn’t widely available.
In 1978, with the LP La inspiración del poeta, Reynaldo begins his popularity around the country, a folk music with romanticism, penetrating the most important cities conquering the market and public of different ages and gender, becoming a Messiah for the llanero music.
From then on it has been a parade of successes without parallel; the prizes and recognitions come and go and as do the decorations. Prizes like the Guaicaipuro de Oro, Meridiano, Ronda, Mara, Cacique, Tiuna, Venus, among others.
He has written more than three hundred songs and has recorded twenty-six albums, all with his own compositions, except three songs from the first album, that belong to El Cazador Novato. He constantly travels to Colombia where has a parallel market, also to the United States and Europe. Reynaldo Armas is certainly one of the most important venezuelan folk singers of all time.
Edited by [deleted user] on 14 Oct 2007, 02:29
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