Francisco de Asís Javier Cugat Mingall de Bru y Deulofeu, 1 January 1900, Gerona, Spain, d. 27 October 1990, Barcelona, Spain. An immensely popular band leader and composer who became known as the King Of The Rumba during the 30s and 40s after he introduced some of the most insinuating Spanish and Latin American dance rhythms to the USA. Although details of Cugats early life are unclear, it would seem that he moved with his family to Cuba when he was between three and five years old, and began to learn to play the violin. He performed in cafes and concert halls before the family was on the move again, this time to the USA. Cugat studied in Berlin, playing with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and eventually settled in California, drawing caricatures of early movie stars for the Los Angeles Times. He formed Xavier Cugat And His Gigolos to play at the Cocoanut Grove, the Chez Paris in Chicago, and New Yorks Waldorf-Astoria. By the time he...
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