Son, which means “sound” in Spanish, powerfully forged African rhythms with instruments and folk melodies of Cuba’s Spanish community. Son music arose in the early 20th century, became known internationally in the ’30s and ’40’s when conjunto ensembles added instruments like conga drums to the mix, and fell from popularity when Cuban big bands playing a variety of styles began to draw tourist crowds in Havana the ’50s. Son worked its way into many other forms of Cuban music and all but disappeared as its own distinct style until about two decades ago when a group of well-known Cuban musicians recorded an album of classic Cuban music, including some son songs, called “The Buena Vista Social Club,” inspiring an international son revival.
KEY INSTRUMENTS: Bass, Bongo, Claves, Guiro, Maracas
SONG ON AATW: LATIN AMERICA CD: Los Pollitos
About Cuban son | About son conjuntos
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