Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club
Celebrates Cuban Culture
The Buena Vista Social Club originally came together as a happy accident.
Assembled by musical director Juan de Marco González, the project was designed to be a cross-cultural collaboration pairing African and Cuban artists. At the same time, González was organizing an all-star team of veteran musicians for an album paying tribute to the golden era of Cuban Big Band jazz.
When the Mali-based musicians failed to get their travel visas, González quickly arranged an album of songs in the more relaxed Son Montuno style. He enlisted many of the all-stars, including bassist Orlando “Cachaito” López, pianist Rubén González, and guitarist/vocalist Eliades Ochoa. Once American producer/guitarist Ry Cooder arrived, they entered EGREM Studios in Havana and recorded a Big Band set (released as A Toda Cuba le Gusta by the Afro-Cuban All Stars) and the Buena Vista Social Club album in rapid succession.