Buena Vista Social Club

In the 1990s a Cuban musician named Juan de Marco Gonzalez and an American guitarist Ry Cooder made a recording inspired by a members club in Havana. The club was called The Buena Vista Social Club. During the 1940s this was a popular club where musicians would meet. At the club they held musical and dance performances.

The two musicians named the recording after this popular club. Many of the musicians performing on the album were either former performers at the club or prominent Cuban musicians during the 1940’s.

International success

The album was released in September 1997. It became an international success. A German director Wim Wenders decided to capture some of there performances and made a documentary film about the salsa veterans. Wenders's film, also called Buena Vista Social Club, was received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.

The success of both the album and film sparked a revival of international interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general. Everyone knows Buena Vista!

Solo Albums

The success of the most recognizable musicians Compay Segundo, Rubén González and Ibrahim Ferrer was the inspiration for several solo albums released later on. Compay Segundo died in 2003 at the age of ninety-five Ruben Gonzalez died the same year at the age of eighty-four and Ibrahim Ferrer two years later in 2005 at the age of seventy-eight.

Lyrics Guantanamera

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crecen las palmas
Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crecen las palmas
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma

Chorus:
Guantanamera
Guajira Guantanamera
Guantanamera
Guajira Guantanamera

Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmin encendido
Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmin encendido
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo

Chorus

Cultivo la rosa blanca
En junio como en enero
Qultivo la rosa blanca
En junio como en enero
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca

Chorus

Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo
Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo
Cultivo la rosa blanca

Chorus

Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace mas que el mar

Chorus

Translation of the song:
I am a truthful man from this land of palm trees
Before dying I want to share these poems of my soul
My verses are light green
But they are also flaming red

I cultivate a rose in June and in January
For the sincere friend who gives me his hand
And for the cruel one who would tear out this
heart with which I live
I do not cultivate thistles nor nettles
I cultivate a white rose

Buena Vista Social Club - Guantanamera

From 'Buena Vista Social Club' back to 'Salsa Musicians'.