Biographies of All Musicians

New York City
Hip-Hop
Cold Crush Brothers, a South Bronx hip-hop group, rapped to the beats of Puerto Rican DJ Charlie Chase. Their rivals, Grand Wizard Theodore and the Fantastic Five, included Puerto Rican rappers Ruby Dee and Whipper Whip. These...
San Antonio
Conjunto, Corrido
The Bernal brothers, Paulino (accordion) and Eloy (bajo sexto) first began playing for audiences in the early 1950s as Los Hermanitos Bernal. In 1954 they got their big break when they recorded for the legendary Ideal record...
New York City
Reggaetón
Ramón "Raymond" Luis Ayala Rodríguez was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where he became immersed as a teenager in the underground music scene and took the stage name Daddy Yankee.  His first...
Miami, New York City
Conga
Desi Arnaz first gained national attention as a musician with his hit single, Babalú, but it was his role as Cuban-American bandleader Ricky Ricardo on the popular TV comedy, I Love Lucy, that made him famous and...
Los Angeles
Latin Jazz, Pachuco Boogie
Don Tosti, born Edmundo Martinez Tostado in El Paso, Texas in 1923, grew up in the infamous Segundo Barrio in El Paso, Texas. Opportunities in public music programs protected him in a neighborhood with a tough reputation. At age...
New York City
Latin Jazz, Salsa
Born to Puerto Rican parents in New York, Eddie Palmieri began to play timbales at age eight to accompany performances by his older brother, pianist Charlie Palmieri. Their mother encouraged Eddie to take up piano also, which he...
Los Angeles
Chicano Rock, East L.A. Punk
El Vez, also known as the “Mexican Elvis,” is the stage name of singer Robert Lopez. He took the popular Elvis-impersonation phenomenon and reinvented it into a cross-cultural live performance combining a love of...
San Antonio
Conjunto
Also known as “El Parche” and the “Accordion Wizard,” Esteban is one of the most skilled and creative accordion players in Texas. Influenced by Valerio Longoria, he took up the instrument and mastered it...
San Antonio
Conjunto
Eva Ybarra, the “Queen of the Accordion,” is one of a few women accordionists who have become professionals in a style that has traditionally been dominated by men. When she was 4, her father presented her with a...
San Antonio
Conjunto, Tejano
The son of renowned conjunto musician Santiago Jimenez, Sr., Leonardo “Flaco” Jimenez is regarded as one of the most important contributors to Tejano music. Born in 1939 in San Antonio, Texas, Jimenez learned to...
San Antonio
Tejano, Tejano Country
Baldemar Huerta translated popular rock ‘n’ roll tunes into Spanish and played them for friends in the 1950s. He performed and recorded under many nicknames like “El Bebop Kid,” “Eddie con los...
Miami
Miami Music Scene
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Gloria Estefan emerged as one of the biggest new pop stars and went on to become the most popular crossover artist in Latin music history with seven Grammy Awards and sales of more than 80 million...