Florida International University Library
Cuba Canta y Baila
Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music 1925-1960
Volume 2
Cristóbal Díaz-Ayala 

This work is a continuation of Cuba Canta y Baila: Discografía de la Música Cubana, Vol. I, 1898-1925 (Cuba Sings and Dances: A Discography of Cuban Music, Vol. I, 1898-1925). This volume, published in 1994, and its selected chronology reflected a period from the beginning of acoustical commercial recordings, that is, without any kind of "electrical" intervention, to the last recordings done under this system in the fall of 1925, when electrical recordings began.

Our work documented some 3,800 recordings done in that period, with chapters organized according to genre (danzón, son, trova, música guajira, musical theater, etc.). Within each chapter, it was broken down by performer, as will be the case in this new discography, which builds on the previous one.

Since many performers were conversant with more than one genre, especially after 1925, it was no longer practical to continue separating the music by genre, and in the current work we will abandon this approach.

Those performers who appeared as recording in the 1898-1925 period and continued to do so in the second (1925-1960), can be found in alphabetical order in the new discography, allowing one to round out a performer's artistic career.

This discography lays no claim to exhaustiveness for the period and subject covered, however, we do believe to have included almost everything produced in or out of Cuba by Cuban artists, as well as a representative amount of Cuban music produced by non-Cuban artists, mostly in Mexico and the United States.

Our objectives have been two, basically: first to provide testimony of the world presence of Cuban music in this long thirty-five year period. This will allow other researchers and scholars to compare a similar presence and influence of the music produced after 1960.

Orthodox discographies limit themselves to providing the details of recordings produced in a definite time period, by specific artists, genres, country or region. This one is far more ambitious, since it begins with a definite time period (1925-1960), but includes recordings by Cubans and foreigners in all musical genres that Cuban music encompasses, and even non-Cuban music recorded in Cuba. Equally, it covers Cuban music or music performed by Cuban musicians recorded in Cuba or elsewhere. Therefore, its scope is vast.

In addition, traditional discographies do not contain biographical information on the performers, nor do they include photos, and on rare occasions, record labels or covers, as does this one.

To a certain extent, this volume is practically an encyclopedia that covers this definite period of Cuban musical achievements. Which brings us to our second objective: to create a reference work for researchers, scholars, and writers who want to explore particular areas related to the hundreds of figures herein documented.

We have tried to limit ourselves to purely objective information, that is, facts, dates and so on, but concerning the biographical notes, it has been impossible not to emit certain critical opinions on performers and their works. But the reader, in exercising their prerogative, can exercise his or her own judgement, and need not share these opinions, or can ignore them altogether.

There were performers inside and outside of Cuba that we were not able to track down to complete our information, nor review their respective discographies. In other instances performers were contacted but never responded, or they responded after the work was ready for publication.

A similar situation arose with record companies. Some no longer exist, and in some cases their recordings were reissued by another company. In terms of CD reissues, we have tried to include all those we know of and that exist in the Fundación Musicalia archive. As reissues keep growing, we call upon the record companies to send us copies of their CDs from their respective catalogues, in order to revise and update information that should be included. In some cases, some companies responded, others did not. Regrettably, we cannot include those versions we have not had the opportunity to review.

In any event, a work of this magnitude is always open to additions or supplements that can correct errors or omissions. We would greatly appreciate and urge any readers who have information about the whereabouts of performers, or who want to point out corrections, and/or omissions, to write us at:

Fundacion Musicalia

Thank you,
Cristóbal Díaz Ayala

©2002 Dr. Cristobal Diaz-Ayala; Florida International University. The content of this site is copyrighted. Permission is given to download and/or to print the text for both personal and educational use as long as the source and the author are indicated. No permission is given for commercial use.
Translation by Alan West.
For further information on the discography, please contact Fundacion Musicalia or Ms. Verónica González (305-348-2818).
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