Juan de Marcos Gonzalez Of The Afro-Cuban All Stars

This program is rebroadcast from March 13, 2013.

The Afro-Cuban All Stars bandleader Juan de Marcos Gonzalez  joins us. We’ll get the latest hot sounds out of Havana.

Juan de Marcos Gonzalez

Juan de Marcos Gonzalez

Afro-Cuban All Stars bandleader Juan de Marcos Gonzalez grew up in Havana sneaking rock and roll off American radio broadcasts out of Key West, Florida.  But as a grown man, he went old school Cuban in a giant way.Brought back the old sound, and the great old Cuban musicians, with the Buena Vista Social Club.  Got the whole world grooving old school Cuban again.  He’s touring the US right now, and he’s with us. This hour On Point:  Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, and the heart of the Cuban sound.

-Tom Ashbrook


Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Cuban bandleader and musician. Leader of the “Afro-Cuban All Stars.” He also organized and led the “Buena Vista Social Club” band – the subject of the widely acclaimed album in 1997 and documentary in 1999.

José Massó, longtime host of WBUR’s Latin music show “¡Con Salsa!”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Dallas Weekly – “Heavily influenced by American radio, DeMarcos began his career a self-described ‘aspiring punk-rocker’ inspired by acts such as Jimmy Hendricks and Van Halen. It wasn’t until later in his life that he would come to appreciate that the sounds of his native Cuba would be his means to success and self expression.”

The Thread – “If you have even a passing fondness for the traditional music of the Caribbean, then Havana legend Juan de Marcos González needs no introduction. First, back in the 1970’s, he formed the influential band Sierra Maestra, which introduced the music of Cuba to a new generation. Then he spearheaded the Buena Vista Social Club recording sessions that, in the 1990’s, made this music a worldwide sensation.”

PBS: — “Now Rubén González has his own band; Ibrahim Ferrer has his own band; Compay Segundo is on his own; Eliades Ochoa is a big success; The Afro Cuban All Stars are also very well known. Not only in the U.S. but worldwide, in Europe. I’m happy because it’s like a realized dream. I knew that we would be successful, because of the authenticity of the music. The fact that it’s the old guys coming to life again. Now everyone wants to do the same”

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