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  • Central America & Caribbean
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...Cayetano César Concepción Martínez (or simply César Concepción) was a Puerto Rican composer and orchestra leader. He popularized the Puerto Rican music style of plena and introduced it to Latin American ballroom dancing. Born on July 28...
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...From the 1960s through the 1980s, Puerto Rican salsa singer Héctor Lavoe helped to establish the form as a global phenomenon. He was born into a musical family in Ponce in 1946. Lavoe’s father wanted his son to learn the trombone...
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...Bob Marley’s group, the Wailers, evolved out of previous projects and became the most important reggae touring act of the 1970s, bringing the Jamaican musical form to audiences around the globe. Originally a doo-wop-tinged ska group known...
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...Blinded at age seven by a kick of a horse, el ciego maravilloso (the marvellous blind) was born Ignacio Arsenio Travieso Scull in Cuba on August 31, 1911, but is more popularly known as Arsenio Rodríguez. Despite his blindness, Rodríguez...

Beny Moré

Artist Pages

...Leader of Banda Gigante, Beny Moré’s tenor voice defined, for many, Cuban popular music in the 1950s and early 1960s. Moré was born in Lajas in 1919; his great-great grandfather was rumored to be the son of a Congolese king who was enslaved...

David Rudder

Artist Pages

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...David Michael Rudder helped make calypso music, a style of Afro-Caribbean music that is characterized by rhythmic and harmonic vocals, popular on an international scale. He is also one of the few calypso singers to write their own songs...
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...Throughout her career, Gloria Estefan was consistently innovative with her popular interpretation of Cuban music. Born to a middle-class family of Spanish immigrants in Cuba in 1957, Estefan’s father was in the Cuban military and served...
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...When the nueva canción movement became popular in Latin America, few artists combined political content and folk music forms as profoundly as Carlos Mejía Godoy. Godoy was born in 1943 in Nicaragua; his father was a popular musician...
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...While a more prominent diaspora had already introduced Jamaican music to the British mainstream, in 1969 Desmond Dekker became the first Jamaican artist performing Jamaican music to have a Top 10 single in the United States. Born Desmond...

Lord Shorty

Artist Pages

...Also known as Ras Shorty I, “the Father of Soca” and “the Love Man,” Lord Shorty was a musician known for the Caribbean styles of calypso and soca, the latter being created by Lord Shorty himself. Shorty was born Garfield Blackman...