- When the nine friends, all students in various engineering faculties at Havana University first decided to form a music group, they were thinking of maybe funk or something Brazilian, both so popular at the time. It was the father of the two brothers in the group, Juan de Marcos and Carlos González, who suggested they play son instead. Calling themselves Sierra Maestra after the birthplace of the music in Eastern Cuba, the group quickly found they were on to a big hit. From 1976 onwards they were popular all over the island and their first album in 1980 an island-wide success. Son was back, after a lull of some 40 years. Having revived it the group became prize winners in Cuba, and started touring internationally. Down the years Sierra Maestra have always mixed the classics of the Golden Age with newly written songs.
- Sierra Maestra were the first group (and remain the best) of the modern era to play in the old-style son line-up: tres, guitar, trumpet, bongo, guïro, maracas and four-part harmony vocals. They have been the pioneers in reviving this style for a new generation and reintroducing it into the Cuban mainstream. Take a look around the site to find out more about the legendary soneros, keep up to date with tour information and check out the picture gallery.
Sierra Maestra’s critically acclaimed new album, Son: Soul Of A Nation, is promising to be a future classic. Based on the history and development of son – from the early days to big band son – and the band’s personal experiences, the album is a glorious tribute to the genre.
- Sierra Maestra are a Cuban band started in 1976. They sought to revive 1920's classic son, which came from the mountain range on the east of Cuba, after which the band was named.
Their members included Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, before he left to join the Afro-Cuban All Stars and Jesus Alemany, who formed Cubanisimo. The band is still together.
They performed at the Glastonbury Festival (UK) in 2008.