Joe Cuba  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Joe Cuba obituary

Joe Cuba (1931 – February 15, 2009), was a Puerto Rican musician who was considered to be the "Father of Latin Boogaloo". The lyrics to Cuba's music used Spanglish, a mixture of Spanish and English, becoming an important part of the Nuyorican Movement.

Contents

Early years

Born "Gilberto Miguel Calderón" in New York City, Cuba's parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York City in the late 1920s and settled in Spanish Harlem, a Latino community located in Manhattan. Cuba was raised in an apartment building where his father had become the owner of a candy store located on the ground floor (street level floor). His father had organized a stickball club called the Devils. Stickball was the main sport activity of the neighborhood. After Cuba broke a leg he took up playing the conga and continued to practice with the conga between school and his free time. Eventually he graduated from high school and joined a band.

Musical career

In 1950, when he was 19 years old, he played for J. Panama and also for a group called La Alfarona X. The group soon disbanded and Cuba enrolled in college to study law. While at college he attended a concert in which Tito Puente performed "Abaniquito". He went up to Tito and introduced himself as a student and fan and soon they developed what was to become a lifetime friendship. This event motivated Cuba to organize his own band. In 1954, his agent recommended that he change the band's name from the Jose Calderon Sextet to the Joe Cuba Sextet and the newly named Joe Cuba Sextet made their debut at the Stardust Ballroom.

In 1962, Cuba recorded "To Be With You" with the vocals of Cheo Feliciano and Jimmy Sabater. The band became popular in the New York Latin community. The lyrics to Cuba's music used a mixture of Spanish and English, becoming an important part of the Nuyorican Movement.

In 1965, the Sextet got their first crossover hit with the Latin and soul fusion of "El Pito (I'll Never Go Back to Georgia)". The "Never Go Back To Georgia" chant was taken from Dizzy Gillespie's intro to the seminal Afro-Cuban tune, "Manteca". Jimmy Sabater later revealed that "none of us had ever been to Georgia".

In 1967, his band which included timbales, vibraphones, and the piano among its musical instruments, scored a "hit" in the United States National Hit Parade List with the song "Bang Bang" - a song which ushered in the Latin Boogaloo era. He also had a #1 hit, that year in the Billboards with the song "Sock It To Me Baby".

Joe Cuba and his sextet have worked over the years with many artists, including:

Charlie Palmieri was his musical director, when in 1988 he died of a heart attack upon his arrival to New York from Puerto Rico. Joe Cuba and his sextet have sold millions of records over the years.

In 2003, the following were released as CDs:

Currently

On April 1999, Joe Cuba was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was named Grand Marshall of the Puerto Rican Day Parade celebrated in Yonkers, New York. He currently is the director of the Museum of La Salsa, located in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Joe Cuba" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools