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Of all expressions of Art, music is undoubtedly the one that has influenced more the personality of Cuban people. It is said that the island's inhabitants speak singing, dance while walking and woo with a love song. Music has developed fast and strong. The Habanera, rhythm born from the danza criolla and the contradanza, received its influence from the tango in Argentina and other rhythms of South America. Recent researches prove that in the contradanzas by Manuel Saumell, the tempo of the habaneras could be heard, for instance, in "La Tedesco", the first part is like the danzon, which appeared later; in many of his music scores, song and guajira were also outlined. Son and bolero arrived in Havana from the eastern provinces, specifically Santiago de Cuba. The bolero emerged at the beginning of this century with great composers such as, Alberto Villalon and Sindo Garay, influenced by Pepe Sanchez (who wrote the first one "Tristezas", in 1883). Though the songs of the old trova were boleros, best composers were Orlando de la Rosa and Isolina Carrillo who left one of the most sublime gifts of all times, the bolero "Dos Gardenias".

News about the son montuno dates back to the second half of the 19th century. In 1920 "Havana's Sextet " showed up at the high society salons in the capital. The "Matamoros trio ", started their long-lasting and important career in 1925 in Santiago de Cuba. They created some of the classic Cuban songs: Son de la loma, Mariposita de primavera y Lagrimas negras. Soon after, the first golden era of the son arrived and dozens of septets and sextets came forth, some of them began to make records with big North American companies. Arsenio Rodriguez, Miguelito Cuni, Felix Chapotin and Roberto Faz succeeded the first performers of son. Meanwhile, orchestras like "Arcaño y sus maravillas" and "La Sensacion" spirited balls in Havana playing danzones and charangas during the '40s and '50s. Enrique Jorrin composed first cha cha cha "La Engañadora" on 1950. Perez Prado made his first mambo on 1952. The second splendour of son took place in the '50s decade when a self-taught man from Cienfuegos turned up: Benny More, who, years later would be acclaimed "El Barbaro del Ritmo". This composer and singer revived the traditional ways of Cuban music, leading the son montuno to a concept of jazz band. The Cuban musician who had more influence on the process of evolution of Cuban and Caribbean music was Benny More. The "Van Van" orchestra of popular dancing music, with a very typical and modern sonority, was created in 1970. Year's later son offered its arrangements to the Salsa, which also incorporated Caribbean rhythms and sounds from the music of Latin (Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican) communities in New York. Cuban salsa, very well known today almost everywhere, reached its boom at the end of the '80s and beginnings of the '90s when orchestras like "Van Van" and "NG la Banda" grew solid and new, young orchestras like "El Medico de la Salsa", "Paulo FG y su elite" and "Isaac Delgado" came forth.

In the Late 90's and early 2000, Latin Music, who's roots lie primarily in Cuban rhythms, has met a massive revival worldwide with groups such as Ricky Martin, Christian and the Buena Vista social Club. This rivival outlines today's desires to return to the catchy rhythms and agreeable melodies foundered in Cuba and now playing worldwide at your local music store.

Viva la musica Cubana!

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