Contemporary Cuban son and salsa band Sierra Maestra take their name from the mountain range to the east of the island. They formed in 1976 to play traditional son music, using the historic instrumental line-up of tres, trumpet, bongo and claves which had been all but forsaken by new generations. Playing acoustically, they depend on potent harmonies and punchy rhythms to win over audiences, which have grown consistently since their inception.
Sierra Maestra was formed by Juan de Marcos González, musical director and tres player, who supervised a circle of friends who had grown up together before studying music. The personnel included Alejandro Suárezz Galarraga (clave/vocals), Eduardo Himely Pino (bass/tumbadora), José Antonio Rodríguez Aguilera (guitar/vocals), Luis Bárgaza Sosa (vocals), Alberto Virgilio Valdés Decalo (maracas/vocals), and Carlos Puisseaux Mansfarroll (güiro/vocals). Their...