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Celia Cruz: The Queen of Salsa, La Sonora Matancera: Cuban Dance Band

Celia Cruz was a Cuban-American singer known as the 'Queen of Salsa.' She was born on October 21, 1925, in Havana, Cuba, and began singing at a young age. She rose to fame in Cuba during the 1950s, but was forced to leave the country after the Cuban Revolution in 1960.

Cruz then moved to the United States, where she continued to pursue her music career. She became a popular salsa singer and was associated with record labels such as Panart Records, Fania Records, Vaya Records and Tico Records. Cruz's music blended elements of traditional Cuban music with salsa, jazz, and other Latin American genres.

Throughout her career, Cruz received numerous awards and accolades, including several Grammy Awards and the National Medal of Arts. She was also recognized for her humanitarian work and was a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.

Cruz passed away on July 16, 2003, in Fort Lee, New Jersey. However, her music and legacy continue to inspire and influence many musicians and fans of Latin American music.

La Sonora Matancera was a Cuban band that played a variety of Latin American popular dance music, including salsa, bolero, guaracha, and rumba. The group was founded in 1924 in the city of Matanzas, Cuba, and became one of the most important and influential groups in Latin American music history.

La Sonora Matancera gained popularity throughout Cuba and eventually became internationally recognized, performing in countries such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States. The band also collaborated with many famous musicians, including La Sonora Matancera, who became the group's lead vocalist in the 1950s.

During its long and successful career, La Sonora Matancera recorded over 200 albums and released many hit songs, such as 'Mala Mujer,' 'El Negro Bembón,' and 'Soy Guajiro.' The band's style combined traditional Cuban rhythms and instruments, such as the bongos, congas, and timbales, with jazz and other Latin American influences.

Despite facing challenges, including political turmoil in Cuba and the death of some of its members, La Sonora Matancera continued to perform and record music until the late 1990s. The band's legacy remains significant in the history of Latin American music, and its influence can be heard in the work of many contemporary musicians.