"Not only is Afro-Cuban Music an essential handbook for anyone researching or merely enjoying Afro-Cuban music; it is a testament to the traditional hard-copy bibliographic guide in an era where paper resources are increasingly eclipsed by digital ones." -- Latin American Music Review
"John Gray, master bibliographer of the Afro-Atlantic world has done it again. His powerful new work covers the subject in all its facets, all its glory. I wandered happily through this wondrous text, learning, learning, learning. Gray makes you aware of what an amazing cultural machine black Cuba is, from the habanera to orisha rap and back again. A landmark publication in Black Studies."
-- Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University, author of Aesthetic of the Cool: Afro-Atlantic Art and Music
"Afro-Cuban Music: A Bibliographic Guide is an impressive accomplishment that will prove an invaluable resource for researchers. It is well-organized and offers comprehensive coverage of the available literature, particularly periodical sources which would otherwise be difficult to find. Users will also appreciate the many annotations included for the details they provide on each work's contents."
-- Robin Moore, University of Texas at Austin, author of Nationalizing Blackness: Afrocubanismo and Artistic Revolution in Cuba, 1920-1940
In spite of its relatively small size Cuba has had an inordinately large musical influence both inside the Caribbean and abroad. From the 'rhumba' (son) craze of the 1920s and '30s to mambo and cha-cha-cha in the 1950s and '60s and the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon of the late '90s, Cuba has been central to popular music developments throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States and Europe.
Unfortunately, no one has ever attempted to survey
the extensive literature on the island's music,
in particular the vernacular contributions of its
Afro-Cuban population. This unprecedented
bibliographic guide attempts to do just that.
Ranging from the 19th century to early 2009 it
offers almost 5000 entries on all of the
island's main genre families, e.g. Cancion
Cubana, Danzon, Son, Rumba, and Sacred Musics
(Santeria, Palo, Abakua, and Arara), as well as
such recent developments as timba, rap and
regueton. It also provides sections on Afro-Cuban
musical instruments, the music's influence
abroad, and a biographical and critical component
covering the lives and careers of more than 800
artists and ensembles. Spanish-language sources
are covered comprehensively, in particular dozens
of locally published journals such as Bohemia, Carteles, Revolucion y Cultura, Revista Salsa
Cubana, and Tropicana Internacional, all indexed
here for the first time, as well as the sizable
international literature in English, French, and
other European languages.
The work concludes with an extensive reference
section offering lists of Sources Consulted, a
guide to relevant Libraries and Archives, an
appendix listing artists and ensembles by
idiom/occupation, and two detailed Author and