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Rubén González


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Rubén González (born 26 May 1919 in Santa Clara, Cuba – died 8 December 2003 in Havana) was a Cuban pianist. He learned to play the piano at the music high school of Cienfuegos. He studied medicine but abandoned his studies due to financial difficulties. In 1943, he released his first recording, together with Arsenio Rodríguez. Soon he became known in Cuba and other parts of Latin America.

González retired in the late 1980s, but started a second career in 1996 when the solo album Introducing…Rubén González was published. The next year, U.S.-musician Ry Cooder produced Buena Vista Social Club, featuring González, Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Elíades Ochoa and some other Cuban musicians. Wim Wenders produced a biographical movie under the same name, and González and his colleagues became famous all over the world.

González’s last public appearances were in Mexico and Cuba in 2002.


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