He is a guitarist and composer born in Santa Clara, Cuba who studied at the Municipal Conservatory of Music in Havana and took his further studies in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. He later worked with Leo Brouwer and during the 1960s he worked as an arranger and lyric editor.
He is an ex-student of Julian Orbon who had a lawsuit filed against him for taking the song “Guantanamera” to New York and rearranging it with Pete Seeger who became credited as composers.
He provided the musical adaptation for the 1992 movie “The Mambo Kings” and has worked as an arranger and in collaboration for stars including Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.
His many compositions, often based on Cuban musical elements, appear on his album “Cantos Yoruba de Cuba, for guitar” as well as several guitar compilations. He has transcribed 250 folk melodies collected by Rogelio Martinez Fure and used these as inspiration for his triptych of Afro-Cuban Songs. His other compositions are many and include guitar and piano pieces, works for solo voice and choir and chamber and orchestral works. He has also written for several stage plays.
Joan Baez Recordings
Guantanamera (Jose Marti/Pete Seeger/Hector Angulo)