Grammy-winning Cuban guitarist and Buena Vista Social Club member Manuel Galbán has died at the age of 80.
In the ’60s, Galban joined the hugely popular Cuban band Los Zafiros and in the ’70s formed his own group, Batey. He appeared in Wim Wenders’ 1999 documentary about Cuban music, Buena Vista Social Club, and subsequently performed with the touring ensemble of the same name. In 2004, Galbán won a Grammy for the album Mambo Sinuendo, a collaboration with his fellow guitarist Ry Cooder.
Galbán died yesterday in Havana of a heart attack.
“It is a very sad day for Cuban music and fans of Cuban music,” said Galbán’s manager Daniel Florestano. “Galbán’s enormous impact worldwide with his unique guitar sound and warm smile will be missed by many.”
You can see a very young Galbán appearing on TV with Los Zafiros below: