Ernesto Lecuona

Ernesto Lecuona ( born August 6, 1895 in Guanabacoa, Cuba, † November 29, 1963 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, Canary Islands ) was one of the most important Cuban composers and musicians of the 20th century and was often referred to as " Cuban Gershwin ".


He was a child prodigy and entered at the age of five years in public as a pianist. As a 11 -year-old, he published his first composition. He studied piano, orchestration and conducting at the Conservatory in Havana. In the early 20s he studied briefly with Ravel in Paris.

Lecuona founded the Palau Brothers Cuban Orchestra, which he later renamed the Lecuona Cuban Boys. The group had in the 30s and 40s great success in the U.S. and in Europe. She also appeared in early sound film Cuban Love Song. In 1960, he left Cuba and lived in New York City, Tampa and Tallahassee. He is buried at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne in Westchester County, New York.

In recent years, Ramón Valle has his compositions presented to the European jazz audience.

He is the uncle of the Cuban singer and composer Margarita Lecuona.


He wrote works of various genres, including cantatas and piano pieces, but he was known by his songs he composed more than 400 tunes.

With La Malagueña he created one of the most famous songs of Latin American music and introduced it in 1927 at the Roxy Theatre in New York. The suite Andalucía ( Suite Española also ) in the Malagueña reappears, is from the year 1930. The Breeze and I is based on the piece of Andalucía from the same suite. The title was one of the greatest successes of the singer Caterina Valente.

His Siboney (1929 ) was also one of the most famous Latin American songs and recorded by various artists. This was followed by: Maria My Own ( María la O, 1932); Para Vigo Me Voy ( Say Si Si); La Comparsa; Dust on the Moon; Jungle Drums; Always in My Heart.

Other works:

Cuba y América (1909 ); Danzas Cubanas (1911 ); Vals del Rhin (1912 ); Suite Española (1928 ); El Batey (1929 ); Rosa la China ( 1932); Rapsodia Negra (1943 ); El sombrero de Yarey (opera).


Lecuona was also one of the leading composers of the early sound film, and wrote, among other things, the music for the following films:

  • Under Cuban Skies ( 1931)
  • Free Soul (1931 )
  • Susana Lenox (1931 )
  • Pearl Harbor
  • La Cruz y La Espada ( The Cross and The Sword, directed by Frank Strayer and Miguel de Zárraga, 1934)
  • Always in My Heart ( 1942)
  • One More Tomorrow ( 1946)
  • Carnival in Costa Rica ( 1947)
  • Maria La O ( mexikan. film )
  • Adiós, Buenos Aires ( argentin. film )
  • La Última Melodía ( kuban. film )