Ruben Gonzalez

Genres: Latin World Music
Decades Active: 1990s 2000s

Biography

26 September 1919, Santa Clara, Cuba, d. 8 December 2003, Havana, Cuba. González became a full-time musician in 1941 having studied medicine and classical piano (he had planned to be a doctor by day and musician by night). During the 40s, while playing piano with Arsenio Rodríguez and the Orquesta De La Hermanes, he helped to shape the sound of modern Cuban music, incorporating jazz influences and developing the mambo. In the 50s he travelled to Panama and Argentina where he played with local tango musicians, subsequently returning to Havana to play in cabaret bands. He joined the band of Enrique Jorrin (the creator of the cha-cha-cha) in the early 60s, and stayed for 25 years until Jorrin’s death. Following a brief and unsuccessful attempt to lead the band himself, González retired from music completely.

In 1996, González was invited out of retirement by Juan de Marcos González of Sierra Maestra to...

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