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Bossa Cubana

About this Album

Available for the first time on CD outside of Cuba, World Circuit / Nonesuch released Los Zafiros’ Bossa Cubana in 1999. Taken from recordings made in Havana from 1963 to 1966, the 17 tracks on Bossa Cubana are an extraordinary soundtrack to '60s Havana and a compelling look back at one of Cuba’s legendary and infamous groups, Los Zafiros. Manuel Galbán, one of the surviving members of the group, assisted in the compilation of Bossa Cubana. Galbán directed and played on two classic Zafiros tunes included on the 1999 Ibrahim Ferrer debut produced by Ry Cooder.

Los Zafiros swept through Cuba in the early 1960s—young, hip, and hugely successful—with their unique rendering of bolero, calypso, bossa nova, and the rhythms of Cuba melding with the twang of electric guitar pop, doo-wop, and R&B vocal stylings. As a part of the touring “Grand Music Hall de Cuba,” Los Zafiros, in a highlight of their career, received an 11-minute standing ovation at The Olympia in Paris. The Beatles, who had just finished a weeklong stint at the same hall, loved the band and stayed on in Paris just to see them.

The release of Bossa Cubana brought the exceptional talents of one of Cuba’s musical treasures to an international audience and, more than 30 years after their first success, illustrates why Los Zafiros maintains a formidable place in Cuba’s musical history.


This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

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