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Most famous Composers from Cuba

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    1
    Arturo Sandoval

    Arturo Sandoval

    Arturo Sandoval (born November 6, 1949) is a jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer. He was born in Artemisa, in the newest renamed Artemisa Province, Cuba. Sandoval, while still in Cuba, was influenced by jazz legends Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie, finally meeting Dizzy later in 1977. Gillespie promptly became a mentor and colleague, playing with Arturo in concerts in Europe and Cuba and later featuring him in The United Nations Orchestra. Sandoval defected to the United States of America in Spain, while touring with Gillespie in 1990, and became a naturalized citizen in 1999. Sandoval's life was the subject of the 2000 TV film For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, starring Andy García. He currently resides in Calabasas, California. Arturo Sandoval began to play music at age 13 in the village band. After playing many instruments, he fell in love with the trumpet. In 1964, he began three years of serious classical trumpet studies at the Cuban National School of Arts. By the age of 16 he had earned a place in Cuba's all-star national band. By this time, he was totally immersed in jazz, with Dizzy Gillespie as his idol. In 1971 he was drafted into the
    8.00
    6 votes
    2

    Rudy Pérez

    Rudy Pérez (born 1958) is a Cuban American musician, composer, producer, arranger, sound engineer, singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose area of specialty is ballads. Having worked in a variety of genres, Pérez has received numerous awards and is considered to have achieved a high level of success with his musical ventures. During the last 30 years, he has produced more than 70 albums, composed over 1,000 songs, and has written and produced music for popular international artists such as Julio Iglesias, Raúl di Blasio, Jaci Velasquez, Cristian Castro, Christina Aguilera, Luis Fonsi, Marc Anthony, Jennifer López, Luis Miguel and José Feliciano. As an entrepreneur, Pérez owns the record label, Rudy Pérez Enterprises (RPE), and Bullseye Productions, is a founding partner and Chief Creative Officer with DiGa Entertainment and was instrumental in the production of the premiere of the inaugural Latin Grammy Awards of 2000. and was also one of the founders of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)'s Latin Council Rudy Pérez was born in 1958, in Pinar del Río, Cuba. to Baptist parents (his grandfather was a Baptist minister). Pérez's father was a
    6.00
    6 votes
    3
    7.00
    5 votes
    4
    German Nogueira Gomez

    German Nogueira Gomez

    Germán Gomez Nogueira (born October 8, 1961), is a Cuban author, composer and producer. He was born in Havana, Cuba. He has been the winner of several national and international music events. He is the author of many popular songs included in soloists’ discs launched by Cuban and international music distributors. He is the author of the song "Quema Tu Amor" performed by the Clippers and featured in the film Old Dogs (2009). Nogueira wrote his first poems and songs when he was 16 old. He began his studies in music at this time choosing the guitar as his instrument. Being a teenager is part of the trio Ecstasy, taking part in different municipal and provincial events in Cuba interpreting his own songs. He makes his national radio and TV debut in 1984 with his song Te pido interpreted by Pablo Rosquet.
    8.50
    4 votes
    5

    Hilario Durán

    Hilario Durán (b. 1953, Havana) is a Cuban jazz pianist. Durán studied at the Arnadeo Roldan Music Institute in Havana, studying tumbao with Evaristo Aparicio, composition and conducting from German Pifferrer, and orchestration from Guillermo Barreto. He formed a group in the 1970s called Los D'Siempre, which melded traditional Cuban elements with those of modern jazz. He joined Arturo Sandoval's band from 1981 to 1990. He also worked with Dizzy Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra and Michel Legrand. He formed a new group, Perspectiva, in 1990, and toured Central America and Europe. From 1995 he worked as a solo artist in Toronto, Canada, and has collaborated over the course of his career with Tata Güines, Changuito, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Jorge Reyes, Roberto Occhipinti, Larry Cramer, John Patitucci, Michael Brecker, Regina Carter, Dave Valentin, Juan Pablo Torres, John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, Hugh Marsh, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Lenny Andrade, Quartetto Gelato and the Gryphon Trio. Duran was nominated for Juno Awards in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007, winning in 2005 for New Danzon.
    8.25
    4 votes
    6

    Roberto Fonseca

    Roberto Fonseca (born 1975, Havana) is a Cuban jazz pianist.. From an early age, Fonseca was surrounded by music: his father was a drummer, his mother, Mercedes Cortes Alfaro, a professional singer (she sings on her son’s most recent solo album, Zamazu), and his two older half-brothers, Emilio Valdés (drums) and Jesús “Chuchito” Valdés Jr. (piano) are also two young musicians of great international prestige. After an early interest in drums, Fonseca switched to piano at the age of 8, and by 14 was experimenting with fusing American jazz and traditional Cuban rhythms; he appeared at Havana’s Jazz Plaza Festival in 1991 when he was just 15. Fonseca studied at the Cuba’s prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte, where he obtained a master’s degree in composition, even though he often says that he was a really bad student. After earning his degree, he left Cuba to find his sound. His first album, En El Comienzo, which he recorded with Javier Zalba and the group Temperamento, was awarded Cuba’s Best Jazz Album in 1999. This success encouraged him to work on two solo records: Tiene Que Ver and Elengo, combining latin jazz, drum and bass, hip-hop, urban music and Afro-Cuban rhythms. In
    6.60
    5 votes
    7
    Antonio María Romeu

    Antonio María Romeu

    Antonio María Romeu Marrero (Jibacoa, Cuba, 11 September 1876 – Havana 18 January 1955) was a Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader. His orchestra was Cuba's leading charanga for over thirty years, specializing in the danzón. Romeu studied music in 1884 with Joaquín Mariano Martínez, and practiced the piano at a local church by the beach in Jibacoa. At twelve he played at his first dance, and composed his first work. In 1899 he moved to Havana and played in cafés. He was invited to play in the Orquesta Cervantes, one of several charangas founded at the beginning of the 1900s. Charangas supplanted the típicas as the standard instrumental line-up for the danzón. Initially called charangas francesas (though they have nothing to do with France), they were 'invented' at the start of the 20th century. The basic idea was to pitch the tone of the orchestra higher and brighter than the típica, by removing the brass, replacing the clarinet with a flute and replacing the kettle drums with a new invention, the pailas criollas, now called timbales. The Orquesta Cervantes is the earliest known charanga to have included a piano. Romeu founded his own orchestra in 1910. The initial line-up for
    6.40
    5 votes
    8
    Donato Poveda

    Donato Poveda

    Nacido en La Habana en el 1960, Donato Poveda, compositor e interprete, comienza su carrera como trovador a la edad de 18 años en el ámbito musical de la isla. Creador de música para teatro y televisión especialmente (La Botija) con la cuál ganó el premio a la mejor música del Festival Internacional de Cine De La Habana en 1989. Se da a conocer en Cuba con las canciones, Madre Por Qué?, Alex, Historia de un amor, Cambiando el tema, El Eslabón perdido y Álguien llama. Se marcha de Cuba y de inmediato desarrolla una meteórica carrera musical. Con el dúo Donato & Estefano (Sony International), lanzó cuatro (4)álbumes, (incluyendo un Greatest Hits), cada uno mas innovador y lleno de expresión de su cultura, que reafirman el desarrollo de un pop latino con espíritu, y demuestran el entusiasmo que puede identificarse igualmente en las composiciones de Donato para otros artistas. La obra de Donato ha producido grandes éxitos y de hecho se convierte en uno de compositores mas solicitado por las grandes estrellas: "Usted se Me Llevó La Vida" y "Es Por Amor", popularizada por Alexandre Pires, también "Quisiera Ser", "Solamente Tu Amor" y "Candela" en la voz de Chayanne, "Agua Dulce, Agua Salá" por Julio Iglesias, y "Déjate Querer" popularizada por el boricua Gilberto Santa Rosa. Su lanzamiento en 2002 con BMG, el álbum Bohemio Enamorado, incluyó el sencillo del mismo nombre que se convirtió en un éxito entre los "Primeros 20" de Billboard y para nuestra gran satisfacción, fue nominado para un Grammy americano en la categoría Mejor Album Pop Latino del Año. Más recientemente, Donato tuvo un éxito, "Enséñame a Vivir Sin Ti", en el álbum Auténtico de Gilberto Santa Rosa, lanzado en 2004. Su canción "Indispensable" fue magistralmente interpretada por Chayanne en su álbum Indispensable, lanzado en 2007. Ya a comienzos del 2005, la exquisita versión en Español de Donato del éxito de Josh Groban, "You Raise Me Up", titulada "Por Ti Seré", fue el primer sencillo del álbum de Miguel Angel Guerra, Oirán, lanzado por Integrity Records a principios de Marzo de 2005. "Por Ti Seré" también fue incluida en el lanzamiento del álbum Ancora de Il Divo, que ha vendido más de 12 millones de copias hasta la fecha. Donato ha colaborado con artistas tales como Héctor Montaner, Melina León, y el grupo mexicano U.N.O. (Uniendo Nuestros Orígenes). La lista de intérpretes que han grabado sus obras recientemente incluye a Melina León, Héctor Montaner, Milly Quezada, Sergio Dalma y Willy Chirino. En la actualidad, el álbum Cuba: Un Viaje Musical ya ha sido lanzado, interpretado por Donato, Albita y Rey Ruiz. El álbum lo lleva a uno en un viaje musical a través de Cuba e incluye el nuevo trabajo de Donato "Changüí de Alto Songo". La obra de Donato ha producido grandes éxitos tales como “Déjate Querer” (Gilberto Santa Rosa), que llego al #1 del Billboard Tropical Charts, “Agua Dulce, Agua Sala” (Julio Iglesias), que también llego al #1 hit del Billboard Pop Charts, “Candela” (Chayanne) y “Usted Se Me Llevo La Vida” (Alexandre Pires) los dos llegaron a los top 10 del Billboard Latin Charts. Mas reciente su primer sencillo, “Bohemio Enamorado” de su álbum como solista llego al #17 del Billboard Charts después de cuatro semanas. El álbum ha sido nominado por un Grammy Americano en la categoria Mejor Álbum Pop del Año. Donato Poveda es un cantautor consumido por las raíces de su cultura y su música. Sus composiciones están repletas de un profundo carácter cubano y reflejan una evolución de ritmo y sonidos que se originan en el continente africano, pasando a Cuba y estableciendo muchos de los ritmos caribeños que escuchamos hoy. El artista se siente que cada día está empezando de nuevo, pero no tiene ni una queja de su carrera … ni de su vida. Sus composiciones como solista han sido un poco diferente para Poveda comparado a las de su trabajo con Estefano porque ha usado su propia vida como base para sus canciones. “Ahora quiero que el publico sepa del autor, de la persona detrás del micrófono; del corazón que sufre y padece como cualquier otro”. Poveda esta concentrado en que el publico lo conozca por su música, que no será nada difícil considerando que desde el momento que uno escucha Poveda tocando su guitarra uno puede sentir las vibraciones Cubanas saliendo de su alma. Poveda vive y se inspira en Miami desde hace más de una década junto a su esposa Carolina y sus cinco hijos. Poveda ha capturado los corazones de su familia, sus amigos y público. Esto solo es el comienzo de una carera hermosa que esta esperando explotar!
    6.40
    5 votes
    9
    6.40
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    10

    Dafnis Prieto

    Dafnis Prieto (born July 31, 1974) is a Cuban-American drummer, composer and educator. He is a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. Prieto was born in Santa Clara, Cuba. "His arrival in the U.S. has been compared by to that of an asteroid hitting New York." Indeed, within a short period of time Dafnis Prieto's revolutionary drumming techniques had a powerful impact on the Latin and jazz music scene, locally and internationally. He was voted "Up & Coming Musician of the Year", by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, and nominated for a Grammy Award for Absolute Quintet as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin Grammy for "Best New Artist" in 2007. He is an educator, and has conducted numerous master classes, clinics, and workshops. Since 2005, he has been a member of the NYU Music Faculty. A resident of New York since only 1999, he has already played in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O'Farrill, Dave Samuels & The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D. D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Claudia Acuña, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and Andrew Hill, among others. He has performed at many national and international
    7.75
    4 votes
    11
    Tania León

    Tania León

    Tania León (born May 14, 1943 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban composer and conductor who has been recognized as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. León's opera Scourge of Hyacinths, staged and designed by Robert Wilson with León conducting, has received over 22 performances in Germany, Switzerland, France and Mexico. Based on a radio play by Nobel Prize-winner Wole Soyinka it was commissioned in 1994 by the Munich Biennale, where it won the BMW Prize as best new opera. The aria Oh Yemanja from Scourge was recorded by Dawn Upshaw on her Nonesuch CD "The World So Wide". León's orchestral work Desde... was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in March 2001 in Carnegie Hall. Horizons, written for the NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg premiered at the July 1999 Hammoniale Festival, with Peter Ruzicka conducting. In August 2000, Horizons had its U.S. premiere at the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, Stefan Asbury conducting. León conducted the work with the Orchestre Symphonique de Nancy (France) in March 2002. Drummin', a full-length cross-cultural work for indigenous percussionists and orchestra, was commissioned and premiered in 1997 by Miami Light Project and
    8.33
    3 votes
    12

    Descemer Bueno

    Descemer Bueno (b. 1971, Habana Vieja) is a Cuban singer, composer, and producer. His first professional gigs were playing bass with Santiago Feliú, one of Cuba’s greatest troubadours. Bueno studied music in Cuba and became a music teacher before forming his jazz combo band Estado de Animo in 1990, which also included guitarist Elmer Ferrer and pianist Roberto Carcassés. His band encountered some success during the 90’s touring in Spain, Bolivia, Uruguay, Germany, and Argentina. Descemer also performed in the United States in 1998 with the jazz ensemble Column B. During this period, Bueno was artist-in-residence at Stanford University in California, and spent a year teaching at the University of South Africa in Cape Town. In 1999, after moving to New York, Bueno became active in his hip-hop band Yerba Buena writing or co-writing most of the songs for their debut album "President Alien". Yerba Buena songs can be heard in several American movies and Pepsi commercials. Bueno soon moved back to Cuba and began producing, arranging, and composing music for many young Cuban musicians including Haydée for Haydée Milanés, La Isla Milagrosa for William Vivanco, and Breathe for Yusa. He also
    8.00
    3 votes
    13
    Paquito D'Rivera

    Paquito D'Rivera

    Paquito D'Rivera (born 4 June 1948 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban alto saxophonist, clarinetist and soprano saxophonist. The winner of multiple Grammys and other awards, D'Rivera has lived in the United States since the early 1980s. He has worked in a variety of contexts, but is perhaps best known for playing Latin jazz. Paquito grew up in Cuba. He started learning music at the age of 5 with his father Tito Rivera, a well-known classical saxophonist and conductor in Cuba. Paquito himself learned both the saxophone and clarinet and performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba at a young age. When he was seven, became the youngest artist ever to endorse a musical instrument, when he signed on with the music company Selmer. By 1980, D'Rivera was dissatisfied about the constraints placed on his music in Cuba for many years. In an interview with ReasonTV, D'Rivera notes that the Cuban communist government described jazz and rock and roll as "imperialist" music that was officially discouraged in the 1960s and '70s, and that a meeting with Che Guevara sparked his desire to leave Cuba. In early 1981, while on tour in Spain, he sought asylum with the American Embassy, and left his
    8.00
    3 votes
    14
    Ernesto Lecuona

    Ernesto Lecuona

    Ernesto Lecuona y Casado (August 6, 1895 - November 29, 1963) was a Cuban composer and pianist of Canarian father and Cuban mother, and worldwide fame. He composed over six hundred pieces, mostly in the Cuban vein, and was a pianist of exceptional quality. Lecuona was born in Guanabacoa, Havana, Cuba. He started studying piano at an early age, under his sister Ernestina Lecuona, a famed composer in her own right. He later studied at the Peyrellade Conservatoire under Antonio Saavedra and the famous Joaquin Nin. Lecuona graduated from the National Conservatory of Havana with a Gold Medal for interpretation when he was sixteen. And he performed outside of Cuba at the Aeolian Hall (New York) in 1916. He first travelled to Spain in 1924 on a concert tour with violinist Marta de la Torre; his successful piano recitals in 1928 at Paris coincided with a rise in interest in Cuban music. He was a prolific composer of songs and music for stage and film. His works consisted of zarzuela, Afro-Cuban and Cuban rhythms, suites and many songs which are still very famous. They include Siboney (Canto Siboney), Malagueña and The Breeze And I (Andalucía). In 1942, his great hit, Always in my heart
    7.67
    3 votes
    15

    Kelvis Ochoa

    Kelvis Ochoa is an author-composer-singer born in 1970 in Las Tunas, Cuba. At the age of 3 his parents moved to Isla de la Juventud ("Isle of Youth"), situated about 100 kilometers south of the Havana shore (Cuba) where he grew up. He is very popular with young Cubans and famous worldwide for having co-composed the original soundtrack from the movie Habana Blues. He is also part of the Cuban band Habana Abierta. Kelvis Ochoa was meant to be a musician: his father was a percussionist in his grand-father’s band. Hearing them playing gave him the passion for music. Kelvis Ochoa started playing conga tunes in the streets with his friends. His first stage performance occurred when he was 14, when he sang at an inter-school festival a tune by the Cuban sucu-sucu player Mongo Rives. Then he started to take guitar lessons, to write poetry and songs, avoiding any form of classical music training. Very early, some press agents gave him the nickname of "the Idol of Youth from the Isle of Youth". The place where he spent his youth fundamentally influenced his current music. La Isla de la Juventud is the cradle of the musical style known as sucu-sucu, where a soloist improvises, in response to
    7.33
    3 votes
    16
    Pío Leyva

    Pío Leyva

    Pío Leyva (May 5, 1917 - March 22, 2006) was a Cuban singer and the author of the well-known guaracha El Mentiroso ("The Liar"). Leyva was part of the Buena Vista Social Club, and composed some of Cuba’s best known standards. Leyva was born as Wilfredo Leiva Pascual in Morón, Cuba in 1917. He won a bongo contest at the age of six and made his singing debut in 1932. He recorded over 25 albums since he signed his first contract with RCA Victor in 1950. Leyva sang with other Cuban artists such as Benny Moré, Bebo Valdés and Noro Morales and was a member of Estrellas de Areito and "Compay Segundo y Sus Muchachos." Fellow musician Barbarito Torres said of Leyva: "Pio has always been a famous singer in Cuba. I've always admired him, not just for his talent, but because of his great personality. He's the inspiration." Leyva took part in the 2004 film Música Cubana, which was marketed as a sequel to Buena Vista Social Club. Leyva died of a heart attack, on March 22, 2006. He was 88 years old.
    9.00
    2 votes
    17

    José María Vitier

    José María Vitier (born January 7, 1954) is a Cuban music composer and pianist. He has made music for movies and television, as well as compositions for piano, symphonic orchestra, chamber orchestra, among other formats. His style often combines the classical and Cuban folk music styles. Some of his most remarkable works are his compositions for the Cuban film Fresa y Chocolate, and his Cuban mass. He was born in Havana.
    8.50
    2 votes
    18
    6.33
    3 votes
    19

    Dámaso Pérez Prado

    Dámaso Pérez Prado (December 11, 1916 – September 14, 1989) was a Cuban bandleader, musician (singer, organist and pianist), and composer. He is often referred to as the "King of the Mambo". His orchestra was the most popular in mambo. His son, Pérez Prado, Jr., continues to direct the Pérez Prado Orchestra in Mexico City to this day. Perez was born in Matanzas, Cuba, his mother was a school teacher, his father a newspaper man. He studied classical piano in his early childhood, and later played organ and piano in local clubs. For a time, he was pianist and arranger for the Sonora Matancera, Cuba's best-known musical group. He also worked with casino orchestras in Havana for most of the 1940s, and gained a reputation for being an imaginative (his solo playing style predated bebop by at least five years), loud player. He was nicknamed "El Cara de Foca" ("Seal Face") by his peers at the time. In 1948 he moved to Mexico to form his own band and record for RCA Victor. He quickly specialized in mambos, an upbeat adaptation of the Cuban danzón. Perez's mambos stood out among the competition, with their fiery brass riffs and strong saxophone counterpoints, and most of all, Pérez's
    8.00
    2 votes
    20
    Moisés Simons

    Moisés Simons

    Moisés Simons (born Moisés Simón Rodríguez; 24 August 1889; Havana, Cuba – died 28 June 1945; Madrid, Spain), was a leading Cuban composer, pianist, and orchestra leader. He was the composer of El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor in English) which is considered by many to be the most famous piece of music created by a Cuban musician and has since been recorded by other musicians from around the world hundreds of times. Moisés Simons was born on 24 June 1945 in Havana, Cuba. The son of a Basque musician, he started studying music with his father, Leandro Simón Guergué. By the age of 9, he was the organist at his local church in the barrio of Jesús María and choirmaster of the Pilar church. At 15, he undertook advanced studies under various maestros in composition, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, and instrumentation. Later, Simons became a concert pianist and musical director of lyric theater companies. He worked at the Teatro Martí where musical comedies by Ernesto Lecuona were performed. He then moved to the Teatro Peyret under contract to the Spanish composer, Vicente Lleó, who directed a zarzuela company with whom he toured throughout Latin American including Mexico, the Dominican
    8.00
    2 votes
    21

    Carlos Fariñas

    Carlos Fariñas (Cienfuegos, 1934 - La Habana, 2002) was a Cuban composer. He was one of the most important masters of the Cuban avant-garde in the 1960s along with Leo Brouwer and Juan Blanco. He received his firsts musical orientations in the family. After that he moved to La Habana, Cuba, and was a disciple of the masters Jose Ardevol, Harold Gramatges and Enrique Gonzales Mántici. In 1956 he attended to the courses taught by Aaron Copland on the Tanglewood Music Center in the United States. Between 1961 and 1963 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory. Fariñas also composed in several modern techniches and styles from traditional symphonic music to computer music. In 1989 he created the Electroacoustic and Computer Music Laboratory at the Art Superior Institute in La Habana, Cuba. http://www.cubarte.cult.cu/paginas/personalidades/quienesquien.detalles.php?pid=170 http://portal.unesco.org/culture/es/ev.php-URL_ID=16509_DO=DO_TOPIC_SECTION=201.html http://www.soncubano.com/nsc/nsc_search_lst.asp?text_search=Carlos Fariñas
    10.00
    1 votes
    22
    Cachao López

    Cachao López

    Israel "Cachao" López ( /kəˈtʃaʊ/ kə-CHOW; September 14, 1918 – March 22, 2008), often known as Cachao, was a Cuban musician and composer who helped popularize mambo in the United States in the early 1950s. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, won several Grammy Awards, and has been described as "the inventor of the mambo". He is considered a master of descarga (Latin jam sessions). Cachao was born in 1918 in Havana, into a family of musicians, many of them bassists—around forty or more in his extended family. As an 8-year-old bongo player, he joined a children's septet that included a future famous singer and bandleader, Roberto Faz. A year later, already on double bass, he provided music for silent movies in his neighborhood theater, in the company of a pianist who would become a true superstar, the great cabaret performer Ignacio Villa, known as Bola de Nieve. His parents made sure he was classically trained, first at home and then at a conservatory. In his early teens he was already playing contrabass with the Orquesta Filarmónica de La Habana, under the baton of guest conductors including Herbert von Karajan, Igor Stravinsky and Heitor Villa-Lobos. He played with the
    7.00
    2 votes
    23
    Omar Sosa

    Omar Sosa

    Omar Sosa (born April 10, 1965, in Camagüey, Cuba) is a composer, bandleader, and jazz pianist. Sosa began studying marimba at age eight, then switched to piano at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Havana, where he studied jazz. Sosa moved to Quito, Ecuador, in 1993, then San Francisco, California, in 1995. In San Francisco he became deeply involved in the local Latin jazz scene and began a long collaboration with percussionist John Santos. He also made a series of recordings with producer Greg Landau, including the ground-breaking Oaktown Irawo, featuring Tower of Power drummer Dave Garibaldi, Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry and Cuban percussionist Jesus Diaz. Sosa and Landau recorded with Carlos "Patato" Valdes and Pancho Quinto and worked on several film scores. Around 1999 Sosa moved to Barcelona, Spain. In January 2011, Omar Sosa won The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards in the Jazz Album category for Ceremony. He has played with a number of world musicians all around the globe, and often collaborates with those outside the jazz and Afro-Cuban traditions. Sosa mixes jazz influences alongside Latin rhythms, North African percussions and spoken word/rap lyrics. He also
    7.00
    2 votes
    24

    Leo Brouwer

    Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida (born March 1, 1939 in Havana) is a Cuban composer, conductor and guitarist. He is the grandson of Cuban composer Ernestina Lecuona Casado. As a child, Brouwer received his initial stimulus from his father, a physician, who was an aficionado of Villa-Lobos, Tárrega and Granados. He initiated his son encouraging him to play these composers' works, mostly by ear. Young Brouwer received his first formal guitar instruction from the noted Cuban guitarist and pedagogue Isaac Nicola, in turn a disciple of Emilio Pujol. Afterwards, Brouwer went to the United States to study music at the Hartt College of Music of the University of Hartford, and later at the Juilliard School, where he studied under Vincent Persichetti and took composition classes with Stefan Wolpe. In 1970 Brouwer played in the premiere of El Cimarrón by Hans Werner Henze in Berlin. Together with Morton Feldman, he was awarded a 1972 scholarship by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) being guest composer and lecturer of Academy of Science and Arts of Berlin. In Germany Brouwer also recorded a number of LPs for Deutsche Grammophon. Brouwer's playing career ended in the early 1980s due
    9.00
    1 votes
    25

    Joséito Fernández

    José Fernández Diaz, (September 5, 1908 - October 11, 1979), commonly known as Joseíto Fernández was a Cuban singer and songwriter. He is the writer of well-known songs, including: "Elige tú, que canto yo", "Amor de madre", "Demuéstrame tú", and "Así son, boncó", as well as the more famous "Guajira Guantanamera".
    8.00
    1 votes
    26
    Luis Conte

    Luis Conte

    Luis Conte (born 16 November 1954) is a Cuban percussionist. As a child in Cuba, Conte began his musical odyssey playing the guitar. However, he soon switched to percussion, and that has remained his mode since. He was sent to Los Angeles by his parents in 1967, in order to prevent him from being forced to serve in the Cuban military. This was a turning point in Conte's life, as the musical community in Los Angeles during this period was vibrant. It was during this time that he studied at Los Angeles City College. Conte proved himself versatile musically, and by 1973, he was playing regularly in local clubs. He quickly became a busy studio musician, and throughout the 1970s, he played in the Latin fusion band Caldera. In the 1980s, Conte toured with several different musicians, including Madonna, guitarist Al Di Meola, and Andy Narell. His debut as a bandleader came in 1987, when he released La Cocina Caliente, which included a Latinized version of Chopin's "Susarasa". Conte also played percussion on the Pat Metheny Group release 'We Live Here', in 1995, as well as I Mother Earth's first two albums Dig (1994) and Scenery and Fish (1996). Recently, Conte has toured as part of James
    8.00
    1 votes
    27

    Chico O'Farrill

    Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill (October 28, 1921 in Havana, Cuba - June 27, 2001 in New York City, New York, USA) was a composer, arranger, conductor, best known for his work in the Latin idiom, although he also composed straight-ahead jazz pieces and even symphonic works. The son of an Irish father and a German mother, he played the trumpet early in his career. He composed works for Machito (Afro-Cuban suite with Charlie Parker, 1950) and Benny Goodman's Bebop Orchestra (Undercurrent Blues) and arranged for Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton, among others. In the 1990s O'Farrill led a big band that took up residence at New York's famous Birdland nightclub. Chico's son, a pianist who is also named Arturo O'Farrill (he formerly worked with Carla Bley), eventually took over the band. With Gato Barbieri With Dizzy Gillespie
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    2 votes
    28
    Compay Segundo

    Compay Segundo

    Compay Segundo (Máximo Francisco Repilado Muñoz, Siboney, Cuba 18 November 1907 – Havana, 13 July 2003) was a Cuban trova guitarist, singer and composer. Compay Segundo, so called because he was always second voice in his musical partnerships, moved to Santiago de Cuba at age 9. His first engagement was in the Municipal Band of Santiago de Cuba, directed by his teacher, Enrique Bueno. After a spell in a quintet he moved to Havana in 1934, where he also played in the Municipal Band, on the clarinet. He also learned to play the guitar and the tres: these became his usual instruments. Compay Segundo was also the inventor of the armónico, a seven-stringed guitar-like instrument, created to eliminate a harmonic jump in the Spanish guitar and the tres. In the 1950s he became well known as the second voice and tres player in Los Compadres, a duo he formed with Lorenzo Hierrezuelo in 1947. Los Compadres were one of the most successful Cuban duos of their time. Greater international fame came later, in 1997, with the release of the Buena Vista Social Club album, a hugely successful recording which won several Grammy awards. Compay Segundo appeared in the film of the same title, made
    6.00
    2 votes
    29
    Gonzalo Rubalcaba

    Gonzalo Rubalcaba

    Gonzalo Rubalcaba (born May 27, 1963 in Havana, Cuba) is a Grammy Award-winning Cuban jazz pianist and composer. Gonzalo has performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Ignacio Berroa, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Haden, Katia Labèque, Richard Galliano, Francisco Céspedes, Tony Martinez, Issac Delgado, Juan Luis Guerra, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Dennis Chambers, Brian Bromberg, Ron Carter, Yosvany Terry, Matt Brewer, Mike Rodriguez, Marcus Gilmore, Pat Martino, Giovanni Hidalgo, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Joao Bosco, Ivan Lins and many others. Gonzalo Julio Gonzalez Fonseca was born in Havana, Cuba, May 27, 1963, into a musical family rich in the traditions of the country’s artistic past. During his childhood, in addition to the standard fare of elementary schools, Gonzalo was absorbing his Cuban musical heritage through personal contacts within his family, notably his father, pianist Guillermo Rubalcaba, and leading musicians who were frequent houseguests: Frank Emilio, Pedro "Peruchin" Justiz, Felipe Dulzaides and others. He also assimilated through scarce and treasured recordings the tunes and styles of 40’s – 70’s US jazz masters:
    5.50
    2 votes
    30

    Jose Tillan

    José Tillán (born May 24, 1966) is a media executive and professional musician, composer and Latin Grammy winning producer whose career has primarily been focused on the Latin music industry. Tillán was born in Banes, Cuba on May 24, 1966. He moved to Spain with his family in 1968, where he lived until 1976. They moved to the United States in October 1976 and settled in Miami, FL – where he still resides. Tillán attended Kinloch Park Elementary, West Miami Jr. High and graduated from South Miami Senior High. He attended Miami-Dade College and experimented with various majors: art, psychology, music, computer-science, accounting and finally ended with AA in Business Administration. He then went to Florida International University and majored in International Marketing. His interest in music was sparked after attending a concert by The Police, at the now defunct Sunrise Musical Theater in Sunrise, FL on Monday, December 8, 1980 (a very memorable night - John Lennon's assassination). He bought a bass guitar for ten dollars at a local pawnshop and started to play with his two best friends Carlos "Freak" Alvarez and Kenny Nunez. In 1984, they formed 'FORGET THE NAME' (later FtN), a band
    5.50
    2 votes
    31
    Chucho Valdés

    Chucho Valdés

    Chucho Valdés (born Jesús Dionisio Valdés in Quivicán, Cuba, October 9, 1941) is a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. In 1972 he founded the group Irakere, one of Cuba's best-known Latin jazz bands. Together with pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Valdés is revered as one of Cuba's greatest jazz pianists. His father is the famed Cuban pianist and former director of Havana's famous "Tropicana" night club band Bebo Valdés. Chucho has won four Grammy awards: in 1978 for the album Live at Newport by Irakere; in 1998 for his contribution to the CD Havana by his band Crisol (formed in 1997), with two songs Mr. Bruce and Mambo para Roy written by Chucho; in 2003 for his album Live at the Village Vanguard; and in 2011 for his album Chucho's Steps. On 16 October 2006, Chucho Valdés was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In 2008 Sony released an album of Chucho playing with his father Bebo Valdés. Chucho's son, Chuchito, is also a jazz pianist.
    7.00
    1 votes
    32

    Ernestina Lecuona y Casado

    Ernestina Lecuona y Casado (16 January 1882 – 3 September 1951) was a Cuban pianist, music educator and composer. Ernestina Lecuona y Casado was born in Matanzas into a musical family. Her brother was pianist and composer Ernesto Lecuona and Leo Brouwer was her grandson. She studied music at the Centro Asturiano de La Habana and with French teacher Lucía Calderón. At the age of 15, Lecuona completed her first work Habanera Luisa, which was published widely in Cuba and Spain by Anselmo López in 1897. She gave early music lessons to her brother Ernesto, and in 1936 was invited to New York by the Pan American Union, where she accompanied the Mexican tenor Tito Guizar. She made contact with singer Jessica Dragonette, who added some of Lecuona's works to her repertoire. In 1937 she founded a women's orchestra in Cuba, which debuted at the Teatro Alkazar, and in 1938 performed in concerts at the National Theatre. In 1939 she toured Mexico, Chile and Argentina and in 1940-42 traveled to South America again. She traveled with her brother on tour, and sometimes played with him as a duo for four hands at radio stations and concert venues including Carnegie Hall in 1948. She died in
    7.00
    1 votes
    33
    Albita

    Albita

    Albita Rodríguez (born 6 June 1962), known in her music career simply as Albita, is a Grammy-winning Cuban-American singer, producer and composer. Albita was born in Havana, Cuba. Her parents were well-known Cuban folk music singers, which ensured Albita's exposure to the world of Cuban country music from her early years. Working professionally since her teen years, by the late eighties she had attained some level of recognition among national interpreters of Cuban folk music. In 1988, her first album, Habrá Música Guajira (There Will Be Guajira Music), was released. In 1990, work commitments took her to Colombia and from there she defected to the United States on April 15, 1993, making the southern city of Miami her place of permanent residence. Albita spent some time performing at a Spanish food restaurant in Miami, where she got the attention of celebrities like Gianni Versace, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Sly Stalone, Paco de Lucia, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, among others that soon became her fans. In 1994 she was signed by Emilio Estefan's Crescent Moon label and her first single in the U.S., "Qué Manera de Quererte" ("What a Way of Loving You"), was released. In 1995, her album No
    6.00
    1 votes
    34
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    1 votes
    36
    Daniel Santacruz

    Daniel Santacruz

    Daniel Santacruz (born November 23, 1976) is a singer-songwriter, recording artist and music producer. Born in New Jersey and raised in the Dominican Republic to a Cuban father and a dominican mother. Santacruz is a three time Latin Grammy Award nominee. While still very young he moved to Santo Domingo with his parents, and immediately felt attracted to the dominican music, mostly merengue. His musical influences range from Johnny Ventura, Wilfrido Vargas, Fernando Villalona, Sergio Vargas and Juan Luis Guerra to Luis Miguel, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Julio Iglesias and Sting. Although Santacruz has cited that his biggest musical influence was his mother, who from an early age used to sing boleros to him and also used to make ​​imaginary interviews to a young Daniel with a small tape recorder. His father, also a music lover, introduced him to classical music and to the 1950s and 1960s sound. The first musical notes are known from his maternal grandmother Ana Zulema Victoria who was a pianist and also a piano teacher. His career began in 1996 as a member of various bands in the Dominican Republic. During that time Santacruz found to have writing skills and bought his first guitar.
    5.00
    1 votes
    37

    Osvaldo Farres

    Osvaldo Farres was a Cuban song-writer and composer best known for having written the songs Quizás, Quizás, Quizás, "Acercate Mas", and "Tres Palabras." Farres was born in 1903 in the small city of Quemado de Güines, Las Villas, Cuba. Although unable to read or write music, he became a prolific and world-renowned composer. His songs include Quizás, Quizás, Quizás, "Acercate Mas", "Tres Palabras", "Toda Una Vida" and his own favorite "Madrecita" written in honor of his mother and still sung nowadays in Latin America on Mother's Day. His songs have been performed and recorded by stars such as Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Eydie Gorme, Pedro Vargas, Charles Aznavour, Luis Miguel, Maurice Chevalier, Sara Montiel, Olga Guillot and many others. Once, during a trip to Bethlehem (he was a Catholic), he was offered an impromptu serenade of his song "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" sung in Hebrew by his own driver. In 1962, Farres and his wife, Fina del Peso Farres, left Cuba. They never returned. He died in West New York, New Jersey, in 1985.
    4.00
    1 votes
    38
    Bebo Valdés

    Bebo Valdés

    Bebo Valdés (born Ramón Emilio Valdés Amaro in Quivicán, 9 October 1918) is a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He was a central figure in the golden age of Cuban music, led two famous big bands, and was one of the 'house' arrangers for the Tropicana Club. Valdés started his career as a pianist in the night clubs of Havana during the 1940s. From 1948 to 1957 he worked as pianist and arranger for the vedette Rita Montaner, who was the lead act in the Tropicana cabaret. His orchestra Sabor de Cuba, and that of Armando Valdés, alternated at the Tropicana backing singers such as Benny More and Pío Leyva. Valdés played a role in the development of the mambo during the 1950s, and developed a new rhythm to compete with Perez Prado's mambo, called the batanga. Valdés was also an important figure in Cuban jazz and taking part in the Panart Cuban jazz sessions (one was commissioned by American producer Norman Granz). In the late 1950s he recorded with Nat 'King' Cole. In 1960, with his singer Rolando La Serie, Bebo left Cuba for Mexico. He then lived briefly in the United States before touring Europe, and eventually settled in Stockholm, where he lived until 2007. In Sweden
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