Celina Gonzalez

Celina Gonzalez

Biography

Celina Gonzalez has been the most popular guajira (country) singer in Cuba since the 1950s, when she began recording with her husband, Reutilio. Her upbeat style of music features tres guitar, trumpets, and a variety of percussion in the form of bongo, maracas, and guiro (scraper). After the death of her husband, she has continued to perform and record with her son and a larger band that featured an expanded brass section. Blessed with a voice so powerful that she doesn't require a microphone, she is particularly respected for her renditions of Afro-Cuban religious songs. Singing a variety of traditional Cuban songs, her voice has an ornamental quality similar to that of an opera singer, yet it is deeply rooted in the rich, tobacco-bearing soil of the Cuban countryside. Gonzalez has been already immortalized by Celia Cruz and others who have recorded her impassioned composition "Santa Barbara (Que Viva Chango)."
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