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Cuban music is a captivating fusion of African and European musical traditions, with notable influences from Spanish genres like Flamenco. In fact, Cuban music is widely recognized as one of the most influential music styles worldwide. One of the renowned genres that originated in Cuba is the “son cubano,” which combines the enchanting melodies of Afro-Cuban traditional music with the harmonies of three Spanish guitars. Throughout Cuba’s rich history, a myriad of diverse music styles have emerged, including rumba, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Salsa, Soukos, Guaracha, Habanera, Danza, Contradanza, Bolero, Mambo, Chachachá, Timba, and Guaguancó.

One notable musical movement in Cuba is the “trova.” This movement initially consisted of itinerant musicians who traveled from town to town, singing and playing the guitar to earn a living. As the 20th century began, a new form of trova called “Vieja Trova” emerged, led by influential figures such as Sindo Garay, Manuel Corona, and María Teresa Vera. A few decades later, in the 1960s, Cuban youth initiated another cultural movement known as Nueva Trova, which was rooted in the traditional trova style (also referred to as Trova Vieja). Pioneers of this new movement included renowned artists like Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés. Alongside the trova movements, various music styles emerged that were meant for dancing, such as Danzón, Guaracha, Mambo, and Chachachá, which gained widespread popularity during the 20th century.

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Another classic genre in Cuban music is the “Música Campesina” or Peasant Music. One of the most well-known artists in this genre is Joseíto Fernandez, renowned for his iconic song “Guantanamera,” which has become an emblematic representation of Cuban music.

The vibrant and diverse musical landscape of Cuba reflects the country’s rich cultural heritage and the dynamic interplay between different musical influences over the years. From the African rhythms brought by slaves to the European harmonies and melodies, Cuban music continues to captivate audiences worldwide with its infectious energy, soulful expressions, and profound cultural significance.

The best way of learning more about the Cuban culture, music & dance, is to spend some days resting at a Villa in Cuba.

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