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Celina González Zamora (March 16, 1929, Jovellanos, Matanzas – February 4, 2015, Havana) was one of Cuba’s most beloved and important singer-songwriters, though she was not so well known in the US, perhaps due to the fact that she remained throughout her career in Cuba. González built her reputation as a specialist in “música campesina” which is the traditional acoustic folkloric music of the Cuban agricultural countryside. She is probably most famous for co-authoring “A Santa Bárbara” (aka “¡Qué Viva Chango!”) with her husband and singing partner, Reutilio Domínguez. While her original recording of the tune was a hit in the 1950s and ‘60s, it is Celia Cruz’s 1968 version that perhaps found the most international success. Several other songs written and/or performed by Celina and Reutilio are internationally known as well, for example “Yo Soy El Punto Cubano” and “Pedacito De Mi Vida.”

-Pablo Yglesias

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