Juan De Marcos González was born in 1954 in Havana, Cuba. The son of a singer, he discovered traditional Cuban music while at university. Since then, the music of his homeland has become his life. He formed Sierra Maestra, a musical group dedicated to Cuban folk music, in 1978. He is perhaps best known for his work on the Buena Vista Social Club. He also formed the Afro-Cuban All Stars.
Cuban musician, composer, and bandleader. Born in 1954 in Havana, Cuba. The son of a singer, González discovered traditional Cuban music while at university. Since then, the music of his homeland has become his life. He formed Sierra Maestra, a musical group dedicated to Cuban folk music, in 1978.
González is perhaps best known for his work on the Buena Vista Social Club, an ensemble of Cuban musicians. He developed the group with Nick Gold, owner of the World Circuit recording label, and they brought in American musician and producer Ry Cooder to work on the project. González recruited the musicians to participate in the project, which originally was supposed to be a collaboration with West African musicians. Instead they recorded Buena Vista Social Club (1997), an album of traditional Cuban music. It won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Performance and helped spark international interest in traditional Cuban music. The album's success led to a series of musical tours and recordings that have brought the sounds of Cuba to the world.
At around the same time as the Buena Vista Social Club, González also formed the Afro-Cuban All Stars, a multigenerational group that played all kinds of Latin dance music. The group's first album, A Todo Cuba De Gusta (1997), featured performances by Rubén González and other members of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Since then, González has been working on other musical projects, preferring to focus on Cuba's musical future instead of its past. He continues to perform and record. The Afro-Cuban All Stars released their latest album Step Forward: The Next Generation in 2005.
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