Biographies of New York City Musicians

New York City
Mambo
Born in Cuba and blinded at a young age when he was kicked in the head by a mule, Arsenio Rodríguez went on to become an influential tres player and bandleader known as “El Ciego Maravilloso” (the...
New York City
Hip-Hop, Protest & Political, Reggaetón
René Pérez Joglar (lead singer, songwriter) and his stepbrother Eduardo José Cabra Martínez (music director, composer) formed the duo Calle 13 in 2004. The band is named for the street in Trujillo Alto...
New York City
Salsa
Celia Cruz was born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso on October 21, 1924 in Havana, Cuba. She began her career singing in cabarets and got her big break in 1950 when she became lead singer for the...
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...
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...