Joe Cuba / Aoril 22, 1931 - Feb 15, 2009

Despite the working name of "Joe Cuba", the conguero Gilberto Calderon was actually a Nuyorican who grew up in Spanish Harlem. Since the first album in 1962 and into the '70s, the Joe Cuba Sextet were a very important and influential band on the newer generation of Latino musicians. With the two-tongued vocal duo of Cheo Feliciano (singing in Español) and Jimmy Sabater (singing in English) they scored a bunch of smash hits and helped fuel the boogaloo craze of the mid-'60s, fusing the soul music influence with Afro-Cuban rhythms. The group's albums contained burning hot descargas, jumping boogaloos and some humorous lyrics. "Bang Bang" is about as big a pop hit as Latin music has ever had and is one of the most covered songs from the scene.

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