PARKING ALERT: We'd like to inform you that construction currently affects several streets near the Palace of Fine Arts. For recommended routes and info about nearby parking, please visit the Palace of Fine Arts website. Please allow for extra time to find parking.
As Cuba’s most venerable charanga band, Orquesta Aragón has been a cornerstone of Cuban culture for seven decades, prospering in the heady, profligate days before Fidel Castro came to power and then thriving after the revolution transformed the country’s music industry. Through all the personnel, stylistic and political changes, Aragón has kept its focus, spreading irresistible Cuban rhythms around the world. Always looking to make dancers happy, the band has cultivated a highly flexible approach that allows it to keep up with changing fashions while staying true to its basic sound. Founded in 1939 by bassist Orestes Aragón, the group came together in the faded colonial town of Cienfuegos. After popularizing cha-cha-chá in the mid-1950s, the group reached the height of its fame in 1965, when it joined other leading ensembles in a highly publicized international tour. The 1982 death of Aragón leader Rafael Lay in a car crash sidelined the band for several years, until Rafael Lay Jr. polished the old repertoire and re-formed the ensemble. With several other sons of key Aragon musicians now in the band, Orquesta Aragón has regained its reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of classic Cuban popular songs.
Ernesto Bacallao Serrano vocals
Juan Carlos Villegas Alfonso vocals
Celso Valdés Santandreu violin
Lázaro Dagoberto González Sibore violin
Dagoberto Pascual González Piedra violin
Eric Labaut Lay violin
Eduardo Ramón Rubio Pérez flute
Orlando Jesús Pérez Montero piano
Roberto Espinosa Rodríguez bass
Horacio Rodríguez del Toro timbal
Guillermo Gonzalo García Valdés congas
José Palma Cuesta güiro
Armando Amezaga Valera dancer