The legacy of Cuban musician Compay Segundo and his unusual guitar

Americas Now

Over twenty years ago, the world was introduced to the romantic sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club. Their first album of traditional Cuban music has sold over 12 million copies since its release in 1997.

The group of elderly musicians who recorded the album included Francisco Repilado, also known as Compay Segundo. His son has carried on his legacy since Francisco’s death in 2003. We recently spoke to him about how he has embraced Compay Segundo’s commitment to Cuban music and the Cuban community.

Salvador Repilado is our Urban Voice.

Buena Vista Social Club’s debut album also featured one of the last Cubans to sing the old-fashioned ballads called “boleros.”

Ibrahim Ferrer was 69 and shining shoes to make money when he was recruited by a producer to record the album with the rest of the group. The music they created can still be heard all over Havana today.