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...Blinded at age seven by a kick of a horse, el ciego maravilloso (the marvellous blind) was born Ignacio Arsenio Travieso Scull in Cuba on August 31, 1911, but is more popularly known as Arsenio Rodríguez. Despite his blindness, Rodríguez...

Beny Moré

Artist Pages

...Leader of Banda Gigante, Beny Moré’s tenor voice defined, for many, Cuban popular music in the 1950s and early 1960s. Moré was born in Lajas in 1919; his great-great grandfather was rumored to be the son of a Congolese king who was enslaved...
...Throughout her career, Gloria Estefan was consistently innovative with her popular interpretation of Cuban music. Born to a middle-class family of Spanish immigrants in Cuba in 1957, Estefan’s father was in the Cuban military and served...
...Miguel Matamoros was a Cuban composer and guitarist. He was a member of Trio Matamoros, a Cuban Trova group—meaning they would travel the country to play their music. Matamoros is considered to be one of the greatest Cuban composers...
...As a musician within Cuba’s neuva trova movement, Pablo Milanés helped to modernize his country’s folk music during the years immediately following the rise of Fidel Castro. Born in the province of Oriente in 1943, Milanés and his family...
...Sylvio Rodriguez is considered to be Cuba’s best folk singer. As guitarist and singer-songwriter, Rodriguez was the leader of the Nueva Trova movement, the sociopolitical music movement in the 1960s that followed the Cuban Revolution led...

Celia Cruz

Artist Pages

...The Cuban-American singer Celia Cruz rose, during the mid-twentieth century, to become one of the most important and dynamic performers of Latin American music. Born in Havana in 1925, Cruz came from a large working-class family. Her...


George Torres

George Torres, PhD, is associate professor of music at Lafayette College, Easton, PA, where he teaches courses in music history and literature. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications

Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music


Scholarly Books

...The cencerro is an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument played in popular music ensembles. It is essentially a cowbell that has had its clapper removed. It is generally played with a wooden or metal stick, and depending on how and where...

The Teatro Bufo: Cuban Blackface Theater of the Nineteenth Century

Soundscapes from the Americas : Ethnomusicological Essays on the Power, Poetics, and Ontology of Performance

Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business, 2014

Scholarly Books

...Introduction Given Gerard Béhague’s strong support of research involving performance ethnography, it may strike some as odd to begin a volume dedicated to his influence with a historically oriented essay. Yet such a conclusion would...


Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume III : Locations: Caribbean and Latin America

Continuum, 2016

Encyclopedia Articles

...Population: 206,831 (1998) Guantánamo is the capital city of the easternmost province of Cuba, also named Guantánamo. The word Guantánamo means in the aboriginal Taino language ‘land between rivers...