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A history of Cuban music. “Presentation with audio” Xiomara Alfaro Xiomara Alfaro was born in Havana, Cuba in 1930. She debuted in 1951 and worked in the most popular cabarets in Havna: Sans Souci, Tropicana and Montmatre.

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A history of Cuban music.

“Presentation with audio”


Xiomara Alfaro was born in Havana, Cuba in 1930. She debuted in 1951 and worked in the most popular cabarets in Havna: Sans Souci, Tropicana and Montmatre.

She has recorded numerous albums containing Cuban standards as well as international songs. Many of the selections were sung in a duet with her husband, Rafael Benitez. She recorded at least 12 albums and currently resides in the U.S., where she continues to perform.

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Zoraida Marrero was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1911.

She performed in the Cuban Nights show at Carnegie Hall, which brought together many of the stars of Cuban music in exile.

She was the first star to perform at Liborio, the most renowned Cuban cabaret in New York during the 1960s.

She died in New Jersey in 2003.

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Fernando Albuerne was born on October 28, 1920 in the town of Sagua de Tánamo, Oriente province, in Cuba. An accomplished singer, he began touring the United States in 1947. In Cuba he was associated with the Radio Suaritos radio station until 1954.

After the Castro dictatorship came to power in 1959, he was exiled to Caracas, Venezuela, and later moved to Miami, where he stopped performing. He died in Caracas in 2000.

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This duet consisted of Olga Chorens, who was born in Havana in 1924, and Tony Alvarez, also born in Havana in 1919.

They were known as Olga and Tony and were married in 1946. Between 1951 and 1954 they were wildly successful radio and TV personalities in Havana.

In 1960 the couple was exiled to Puerto Rico, where they continued their musical career with a repertoire of Cuban and international songs. There they also started a new TV show. Tony died at the age of 83 on March 19, 2001.

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Pérez Prado was born on December 11, 1916 in the province of Mantanzas, Cuba.

He popularlized the mambo and made it a worldwide sensation. Although it was the brainchild of several musicians, Dámaso Pérez Prado was the one who is credited with its popular introduction.

He was also the first Hispanic artist to reach #1 on the Billboard chart and he stayed in that spot for 26 weeks with the song entitled “Cerezo Rosa.”

He died in Mexico on September 13, 1989 at the age of 73.

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Celina González was born in 1928 in Matanzas, Cuban. Reutilio Domínguez was born in Guantánamo in 1921. He was a guitarist, composer and singer.

The couple married in 1943 and they performed together until they separated in 1964. Reutilio died in 1971. Between 1964 and 1980 Celina González pursued a solo career.

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Marisela Verena was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1951.

She has been singing and writing music for more than 40 decades. Regardless of whether she resides in Spain, Puerto Rico or Miami, her Cuban roots stay intact; her voice is warm and firm, and her songs stir deep emotions for her audience.

Few artists have been able to capture the essence of exile like Marisela Verena.

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Matamoros Trio.

This is the most influential and popular threesome in Cuban music. It was started in 1925 by Miguel Matamoros, Siro Rodríguez and Rafael Cueto.

From the beginning the band had a unique sound, the “bolero-son”, a music rich in harmony but with the strong rhythm of the son.

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Guillermo Portabeles was born in Las Villas, Cuba in 1911.

He was a signer, songwriter and guitar player who popularized the Cuban country style, or “guajiro” music, from the 1930s to the 1960s. His languid and elegant style made him popular throughout Latin America.

In 1953 he moved to Puerto Rico where he continued his career until his life ended tragically at the age of 59 in a car accident in 1970.

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Desi Arnaz was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1917.

He was a member of the Xavier Cuga band in New York. He popularized the conga in the U.S. He was a musician, comedian and actor who starred in the hit show “I Love Lucy” with his wife, Lucille Ball.

He died in California in 1986.

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Enrique Chia is an accomplished pianist who was born in Las Villas, Cuba. As a child he studied piano.. In 1961 he was exiled to the United States where he earned his Ph.D. in metallurgy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, “Georgia Tech”.

He is an accomplished pianist whose mellifluous skill is known worldwide. He lives in Alabama and continues to tour throughout the world.

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Olga Guillot was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1922.

In 1963 she was awarded the Golden Palm in Hollywood, California.

She was a renowned singer and had the distinction of being the first Cuban and Hispanic to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York.

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Rolando Laserie was born in Santa Clara, Cuba in 1923.

He earned his fame with his incomparable boleros, “guarachas” and “son”. His trademark raspy voice and aggressive lyrics earned him the nickname “The Tough Guy of Song.”

Rolando dies in Coral Gables, Florida in November, 1998.”

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He was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba, in 1947 and went into exile in Operation Peter Pan.

He is an internationally renowned singer, composer, songrwriter and producer.

His autobiographical “Our Day is Near” describes the journey of a child forced to re start his life alone 90 miles from the shores of his native Cuba and is the anthem for all freedom-thirsting Cubans.

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Gloria Estéfan was born in Havana in 1957.

This five time Grammy winner is an accomplished singer and songrwriter and the Queen of Latin Pop music.

Gloria and her husband, Emilio, married in 1978 and started the Miami Sound Machine. They have two children.

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Celia Cruz was born in Havana in 1925.

The Cuban songstress spent most of her life living and performing in the United States. She married Pedro Knight, who was a trombone player in her band, the “Sonora Matancera.”

Celia was one of the most successful Cuban and Hispanic singers of the 20th Century known by her trademark: “Azúcar!”, a testament to her philosophy of life and her Cuban roots.

She died in her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 2003.

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Listen to Demetrio Pérez Jr’s commentaries, which are broadcast each day on WAQI 710 AM and on

Dear friends:

It pleases me to share these passages, images, and remembrances which I have received and that I know you will appreciate.

Those whose authors are known have the pertinent credit reflected; your comments and feedback through the forums that are reflected here will be valued.

The distribution of these materials is free and without any commercial purpose. Nonetheless, those of you who do not wish to continue receiving them can note your desire in the appropriate space in this message. It is my intent, however, to promote culture and traditions in a positive manner.


Demetrio Pérez Jr.