Nestor Castillo

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Nestor Castillo

The Mambo Kings

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About Him

Grew Up... in Cuba, poor and poorly educated. Although his father never learned how to read or write, Nestor has somehow grown up with a way with both words and music.

Living... in New York. He and his brother Cesar have come to New York to try to make it big as musicians, but right now they're stuck at their cousin's place, sleeping on cots in the living room. Pablo doesn't live in the greatest neighborhood, but the brother learn to love the place, from the aroma of cooking plantains to Pablo's affectionate wife and children.

Profession... meat packer at a plant on 125th Street. But he and Cesar are doing everything they can to become full-time musicians. Although he has a good voice, Nestor largely leaves the singing to his brother, preferring to back Cesar up with his trumpet.

Interests... writing songs. Lately, though, he seems to be stuck on the same song, writing twenty-two different versions of "Bella Maria de Mi Alma," a song dedicated to an estranged lover in Cuba. But when the latest version catches the attention of a popular television star, Nestor's heartbreak might just turn his life around.

Relationship Status... complicated. On the one hand, he loves Maria, who lives back in Cuba but who still swallows up “every ounce of love I have received in my short life.” But at the same time, a New York girl named Delores seems to be drawn to the quiet musician.

Challenge... grappling with Maria, who seems to be ignoring him. As many letters as Nestor writes, she never answers. And as many gifts as he sends, she's never sent back so much as a thank-you note. At first, Maria's silence depressed Nestor, but lately, he's trying to move on.

Personality... quiet, meek, and tormented. In both everyday life and performances, Nestor prefers to step back and lets his brother have the spotlight. And even when Nestor steps forward, his mournful solos get overshadowed by the louder musicians around him.

 

 

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