The rumba originated in Cuba. The rumba is one of several dances and musical forms that originated in Latin America and became popular in the United States from the 1940s on.
Afro-Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo played in the band of American jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie’s band, where Cuban rhythms blended with American bebop, a type of jazz. Cuban American singer Celia Cruz performed with Tito Puente, Puerto Rican king of salsa, a musical style that owes as much to Cuba as to Puerto Rico.
Cuban Americans are also found in the world of classical music and dance. They include pianist Horacio Gutierrez and ballet dancer Fernando Bujones.
In the pop music scene, no Cuban American performer has been more notable than Gloria Estefan. Singing in both English and Spanish, she and her Miami Sound Machine have sold millions of records among Latinos and Anglos alike.
Bandleader Xavier Cugat (1900-1990), who helped introduce Latin music to American audiences in the 1930s, was born in Spain but raised in Cuba.
He was married to Charo, a Latina singer, comedian, and frequent guest on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show.