The Diaz Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music

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Cuba Canta y Baila

María Cervantes Biographical Notes

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Born in Havana, November 30, 1885 and died on February 8, 1981.

Pianist, singer and songwriter. She was the daughter of an important Cuban musician of the XIX century, Ignacio Cervantes. She was born with music in her blood. In 1929 she made her debut at the Teatro Campoamor. Her music is of a unique style, evocative pictures of her land and of the time. She remained connected with music all her life, almost until her death at age 95. A grande dame of Cuban music, synonymous with criollez.

She introduces the strategy of using the piano not as a mere companion, but as a full participant in the continuous, back and forth dialogue with the player. Unfortunately, this excellent entertainer did not pursue an international career. In contrast to a follower of hers who did pursue it, with extraordinary success. His name - Bola de Nieve.

Hernández, Gisela & “Cervantes: 40 danzas”, Ediciones De Blanck, La Habana, 1959, p.18.