Macario ‘Macay’ Prudencia was born in 1934 in Curaçao. He created and is the international ambassador of the ‘Salsa Antiano’. This music genre laid the foundation for the rise of the island’s popular ‘Ritmo Kombiná’ of today. He was raised by a very musical family; his brother, his cousins and his grandfather played musical instruments and his mother enjoyed dancing.
The assessment of his talent
At the age of fifteen, he started playing the conga and performed with several music groups on the island. In addition to the conga, his brother Emilio also taught him how to play the guitar. Eventually he fully assessed his talent for composing and singing, his singing voice rich and laden with personality, thus he decided to develop his own music career.
Around the year 1970, he founded his own music group called ‘Tipiko Prudencia’. The group consisted of his brother Emilo (bass), Emilio’s two sons Axel (cuatro guitar) and Erwin (mandolin), his daughters (backup singers) and himself as lead singer. Shortly after forming this group he went on to form an even bigger band named ‘Continental Combo’ which performed every weekend at the El Nido nightclub. They were a huge hit on the island. You couldn’t find one person who didn’t enjoy their hits, among them ‘Bròs Bròs’ and ‘Kadushi’.
‘Den Bo Bèshi’
In 1975, he received a golden plate from the world-renowned jewelry store Spritzer & Fuhrman for his wildly popular and irresistibly upbeat classic ‘Den Bo Bèshi’. He performed this song with another band named ‘Macay i Su Salsa Antiano’ which was directed by his cousin who had come back from Holland after studying at a conservatory in the city of Utrecht.
The Holland years
In 1979 Prudencia moved to Holland, where he stayed for 14 years and where he gave several lauded performances and composed many hits like ‘Dim Dam’, ‘Mi Televishon’ and ‘Wasmashin’. The last one became an even bigger hit in Holland after it was covered by the Surinamese band Trafassi. During his years abroad he was also nominated ‘The Best Antillean Singer In Holland’ in 1988.
In 1993 he moved back to Curaçao where he continued to make music, releasing several albums with local bands like GIO Fuertisimo and ERA Outentiko in addition to collaborations with bassist Eric Calmes. In 2014 he was honored with a grand tribute concert at the Brion Square, during which local artists performed the many hits released by this Curaçaoan legend who gave an immeasurable contribution to the island’s music scene during his long career.
He passed away on March 24th 2015 at the age of 81.