Elléale Gerardi

Real name: Gerardi, Elléale
Poet, lyricist, composer, writer and painter
(30 December 1930 - )
Place of birth:
Mendoza Argentina

e was born in the province of Mendoza. He is teacher of plastic arts, literature and also singer. At age eight he learnt to play melodies on a harmonica. Soon thereafter he began to stammer out some songs of his own to which he tried to add words and memorize because he was unaware of the music language.

In 1944 and 1945 he joined the choir of the Italian school XXI de Abril, and quit it late that year because he had passed the last year of grade school. In 1947, after the unsuccessful effort of his parents so that he would embrace the military career in the Escuela de Mecánica of the Argentine Navy, he returned to Buenos Aires with a guitar and thirty-five records by Carlos Gardel.

Being a fervent fan of the Zorzal Criollo, he tried to emulate him and devoted himself to singing tango under the sobriquet of Tito Ferrari, an activity he carried out until 1954. In 1948 he joined the Mendoza Polyphonic Choir of Mendoza conducted by maestro Alfredo Dono as tenor voice. He also enroled in the music school of the Municipality of the Mendoza capital to study piano, theory and music reading with the teacher Juana de Dios González.

Once with musical knowledge he started to write his own creations, either in music or in lyrics. In April 1953 he joined the Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores de Música with his waltz “Cuando me besas”, published by Ediciones Musicales Ferrer.

In 1958 he studied melodic singing with the teacher María Concepción de Gutiérrez Del Barrio and harmony and composition with maestro don Ramón Gutiérrez Del Barrio. By that time he wrote four boleros: “Buenas noches, cariño”, “De tanto estar contigo”, “Enamorado de ti” and “No puedes ser mía”.

In 1967 he joined the University Choir of Mendoza which was directed by José Felipe Valesi. In 1968 he studied operatic singing in the Escuela Superior de Música of the Universidad de Cuyo where he got the highest marks. But in 1969, after a severe pneumonia, his vocal chords were seriously damaged and he was forced to quit singing for good.

Since then he has continued with his work as author and composer. By now he might have written over a thousand songs. Around fifty pieces of his have been recorded and released by prestigious publishing houses in Buenos Aires and by renowned national and international artists.

He is a prolific author, out of his large oeuvre we can name: “Mendoza mía”, “Mendocino de pura cepa”, “Canto a Tunuyán”, “Vino mendocino”, “Patroncito Santiago”, “Cueca de Vallecitos”, “Te quiero un montón”, “Pimientita”, “Contra viento y marea”, “Por las calles del barrio”, “Canción para volver”, “Negrita no digas no”, “Perfume de percanta”, “Mendoza, también es tango”, “Querida Cuarta Sección”, “Indio noble”, “Vidita, cébame un mate”, “Yo soy el tango argentino”, among many others.

For his music he was awarded many times: the Second National Folk Music Prize for his number “Mendoza mía”, a zamba published by Ricordi Americana and recorded by Waldo Belloso in the Surco label; the First Nacional Prize in Tango for his piece “Por las calles del barrio”, published by Julio Korn, and the First Prize at the Festival Nacional de la Tonada in Mendoza for his number “Canto a Tunuyán”.

Furthermore, he has received several recognitions by SADAIC as author and composer and for his career. But the most important of them all was the one jointly granted by the Legislatura de Mendoza, the Subsecretaría de Cultura de Mendoza and SADAIC which consists of a life pension and the appointment as ambassador of our Cuyo music.

In 2011 his piece “Mendoza mía” (zamba) recorded by Waldo Belloso was included in a compact disc for distribution in schools by the Secretaría de Cultura de Mendoza, Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación and the Consejo Federal de la Cultura.

In the literary field, Gerardi has written a large number of poetry books: “El canto de los pájaros”, “Gorriones solitarios”, “La soríngala”, “Cantares de Pititorra”, “Pastor de ilusiones”, “Dársena celeste”, “Labrador de palabras”, “Tres monedas de sol”, “Oraciones descalzas”, “El sol de los poetas”, “El amor de la sangre”, “Piedras del pan de piedra”, “Barca de sol, barca de luz”, “Soles vagabundos”, “Pájaros del alba”, “Corazón encuadernado”, “Sílabas de ternura”, “Tankas para mi perra muerta”, “Guijarros de sol (y sombra)” and “Las palabras de la palabra”.

He was awarded the first prize in poetry for his work “El polvo de la vida” by the Editorial Jirones de Azul, of Sevilla, Spain. The latter award was declared as of legislative interest by the Legislatura of the province of Mendoza.