Juan de Marcos González
Juan de Marcos González was born in the Pueblo Nuevo barrio of
Havana to a musical family. His father, Marcos González Mauriz (d March
1990), was a vocalist who performed with prominent bandleader Arsenio
Rodríguez. He has two daughters, Gliceria and Laura Lidia González Abreu and
one son, Juan de Marcos González Pérez. He studied at the Amadeo Roldan
Conservatory of Music and with Vicente Gonzalez and Leopoldina Nunez.
Growing up, González was a fan of American and British rock music before
rediscovering his Cuban roots and establishing a "traditional" Cuban band,
Sierra Maestra, in 1978. González's stated goal was to keep the torch of
Cuban folk music alive for a younger generation. Sierra Maestra has recorded
fourteen albums in Cuba, and toured internationally.
González became a key member of the Buena Vista Social Club, using his
contacts in the Cuban music world to contract musicians as the A & R off his
label, "World Circuit" and conducting and arranging the recording sessions.
When Ry Cooder arrived in Havana for recording, González himself was working
an "all stars" album tribute to the golden era greats of Cuban music, the
Afro-Cuban All Stars, featuring many of the same musicians who later
comprise the Buena Vista Social Club. Subsequently, González led the
Afro-Cuban All Stars and Rubén González on their European and American
tours, and directed the Buena Vista Social Club original lineup concerts in
Mexico's Auditorio Nacional, Amsterdam and at Carnegie Hall.
He speaks Russian, English and Spanish and has some knowledge of Lucumi and