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'Mambo Sinuendo': Ry Cooder Returns to Cuba

Ry Cooder's name has become synonymous with Cuban music since he produced the hit CD Buena Vista Social Club. The music from that groundbreaking collection of songs featured legends of a Cuban music tradition all but forgotten outside that island nation.

That 1997 CD sparked a huge interest in Cuban music across the globe — and follow-up solo CDs made stars out of some of the members of the original band. It also put Cooder in the spotlight.

Before Buena Vista Social Club, Cooder was widely respected for his guitar prowess and his ability to fuse so-called "world music" harmonies and rhythms with mainstream sensibilities, making world music more accessible to a wider audience. Today, Cooder earns equal respect in his role as a producer.

In 2001 Cooder returned to Havana's Egrem Studio, where the sessions for Buena Vista Social Club were recorded. Along with his son, percussionist Joachim Cooder, and drummer and longtime collaborator Jim Keltner, and met up with some of the musicians from the Buena Vista sessions — this time, to record tracks with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galban of the group Los Zafiros.

Together, Cooder and Galban created a unique fusion of two cultures and two generations. Their new album is entitled Mambo Sinuendo.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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