18" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas
George H. Rothacker, 2011©
Owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Martindale
Prints are available.
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Cuba developed a wide range of creolized musical styles, based on its cultural origins in Europe and Africa. Since the 19th century its music has been influential throughout the world. It has been perhaps the most popular form of world music since the introduction of recording technology.
Much of the music associated with Cuba today originated in, or was influenced by, other Latin America countries, and was performed in the nightclubs and social clubs of Havana between the 1930s and the 1950s.
Shortly after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Cuban President Manuel Urrutia Lleó began closing gambling outlets, nightclubs and other establishment associated with Havana’s hedonistic lifestyle. This shift towards the left and an effort to build a “classless and colorblind” society had an immediate impact on the livelihood of entertainers and created a huge change in the musical environment. Although the Cuban government continued to support traditional music after the revolution, certain favor was given to the politically charged nueva trova, and poetic singer-songwriters of the time.
In the 1990s, an American guitarist Ry Cooder and Cuban musician Juan de Marcos Gonzalez teamed up with traditional Cuban musicians on a recording, “The Bueno Vista Social Club” to reawaken the music of the heyday of Cuba’s past and introduce the world to some of the music written by the local composers of the past. The album became a “word of mouth” success, sold five million copies and won a Grammy in 1998.