She went on to record 23 gold records with Tito Puente, the Fania All Stars and other collaborators throughout her career. Quick Facts.
Celia Cruz: Queen of Salsa | National Museum of American History
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Olivia Olson. Image Credit. Libra Singers. Celia Cruz. She was the second of four children, born to Simon Cruz, a railroad stoker, and Catalina Alfonso, a homemaker. She was drawn to music from an early age. Growing up in an extended family and being one of the eldest among fourteen children, she often put her younger siblings to sleep by singing. As a teenager, she began frequenting nightclubs with her aunt, to sing.
However, her father continued to encourage her for a career in teaching. After high school, she attended the Normal School for Teachers in Havana in order to become a literature teacher. Eventually, she discovered the huge earning potential of an entertainer and from she began studying music theory, voice, and piano at Havana's National Conservatory of Music.
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American Singers. American Women Singers. Libra Women. She helped push the band and Latin music to new heights and won the support of band leader, Rogelio Martinez. She also toured extensively across Latin and North America, performing with the band. In , she became an U. Although they released eight albums together, the musical collaboration failed to achieve success. The duo later joined Vaya Records, the sister label of Fania. In the s, Celia Cruz achieved her long deserved international fame. She extensively toured Latin America and Europe, performing at various concerts and television shows with other artists.
She recorded a new album in with Johnny Pacheco as one of the producers. In , she was conferred posthumously the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The band at that time was touring Mexico. The members, including Celia Cruz decided to settle in the United States. She tried to return to Cuba in when her mother died but was denied government permission. She married Sonora's trumpet player, Pedro Knight on 14 July Knight later became her manager and music director. The couple did not have any children. The music, fast-paced and upbeat, became entrenched in Cuban culture, and became known as guaracha.
Cubans adopted the music as their own, putting their own words - about everything from the mundane to the sublime - to the sound. In the conservative Cuban culture, the uninhibitedness of salsa music, particularly the unabashed dancing that is a part of a salsa performance, made the art unsuitable for women. Cruz, however, said she has not encountered sex barriers in her career, and added that she has never tried to be one of the boys. When her colleagues - all males - speak of her, they all at one time or another call her ''the best. It was so powerful and energetic. I swore it was a man, I'd never heard a woman sing like that.
Cruz, who had been an established salsa star in Cuba for nearly 20 years, left the country with her orchestra in for a ''routine'' concert tour in Mexico and never returned - something, Ms. Cruz said, ''Castro never forgave me for.bands.vinylextras.com/loves-illusions-a-romantic-beach-read.php
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Her early years in the United States were less than memorable; young Latinos were more interested in rock-and-roll than in music from the old country. But in the 's, the young Puerto Ricans and Cubans in New York, New Jersey and Miami began to take a new pride in their roots, and salsa became the musical symbol of that rediscovered identity.
Along with winning fans of all ages at one concert in California a reporter found among the crowd a fan who was 10 years old and another who was , she has garnered critical praise. Cruz was ''an incendiary performer under just about any circumstances. But the singer said she is not ready to rest on laurels.
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Cruz, who lives in Queens with her husband, Pedro who is her musical director , and one of her sisters, finds a life of tranquillity - never mention retirement - unthinkable. She scoffs at talk of herself as a legend, a designation she interprets as a completion, an end to an artist's need to be prolific. Lulls in her calendar unsettle her, all requests for interviews are honored, she strives to make her sound contemporary and takes all reviews to heart.
Her studio sessions involve hours of group brainstorming, of singing a melody in this key or that, arranging and rearranging. Riffs and ad-libbing are first whispered, then spoken, then belted. After he hears us argue back and forth, he says 'si' or 'no.
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Cruz's music has evolved with the times, albeit slowly. In the mid's she started adding brass to traditional Latin instruments, such as the percussive, scraping guiros and conga drums, that had accompanied her songs and, at the suggestion of her friend and mentor Mr. Puente, replaced the orchestral sound with that of a softer dance band. Colon, she experimented with synthesizers, vibrophones and extra brass, making her folk sound more progressive. You don't work that way because you're nice, you do it because you're professional.