Home Books Essential Reading: Celia En Cuba 1925-1962

Essential Reading: Celia En Cuba 1925-1962

Celia en Cuba 1925-1962 by Rosa Marquetti Torres is an outstanding work that goes beyond the boundaries of a typical novel or essay. In this book, the author explores the life and career of Celia Cruz, starting from her early days in Cuba, where she achieved tremendous success. She also sheds light on Cruz’s journey as a diva and a prominent figure during the Golden Age of Cuban music, theatre, radio, television, and cabaret. Additionally, the book provides insight into Cruz’s complex relationship with the political climate of her country during that time.
The book is based on press coverage from countries where Cruz performed, including Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Spain, the Netherlands, Curacao, and the United States. The author also includes interviews, statements, and texts, making it a comprehensive account of Cruz’s life and career.
Celia en Cuba features over sixty published and unpublished images, documents, and prints. It also includes five annexes that contain recordings, radio shows and appearances, commercials, a filmography, and information on the orchestras and ensembles that accompanied Cruz between 1925 and 1962.
At present, the book is only available in Spanish and paperback. However, the author has mentioned that she is working on making the book available in digital format, though a date has yet to be given. There has yet to be any mention of an English translation of the book. Still, as Cruz was known as “La Guarachera del Mundo,” it would be wonderful if Ms. Marquetti considered sharing Cruz’s fantastic story with the non-Spanish speaking public.
Born in Alquízar, Havana, Cuba, Rosa Marquetti Torres received a degree in philology from the University of Havana. Her professional connection with Cuban music began in 1993 as an executive at the Pablo Milanés Foundation. The Pablo Milanés Foundation was the first private Afro-descendant institutional initiative in Cuban culture. Since then, it has grown with projects in diverse domains such as the record industry, intellectual property, archival, production, consulting, and musical supervision in films and documentaries, curatorship, and historiographic and music research. Marquetti is the author of Chano Pozo: A Life (1915-1948), El Niño con su tres. Andrés Echevarría Callava, Niño Rivera, Desmemoriados. Histories of Cuban Music and Celia in Cuba (1925-1960). She also created and is the editor of the blog Desmemoriados Histories of Cuban Music (www.desmemoriados.com), founded in 2014. Marquetti has also worked at Magic Music Records, the General Society of Authors and Editors of Spain, and the Gladys Palmera Collection. Her texts and research on significant events, characteristics, and figures of Cuban music have been published in specialized and general journals and magazines in Cuba, Colombia, Spain, France, and the United States.
View an in-depth (Spanish) interview with Rosa Marquetti Torres HERE.
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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