Manuel Galbán born in 1931 (Gibara, Holguín Province Cuba), died Thursday of a heart attack in Havana at 80 years old.

Making his professional debut in 1944, Galbán joined the internationally acclaimed Los Zafiros in 1963, which combined the traditional filín movement with other music styles such as bolero, doo-wop, calypso music, bossa nova and rock. This fusion transformed Los Zafiros into one of the most popular Cuban groups of the time. They group achieved international fame and performed at several venues in Europe including the Paris Olympia, a concert that was even attended by the Beatles. Although Galbán wasn’t the first guitarist to perform for Los Zafiros, he did remain with the group for the majority of their careers, becoming one of their key members. He was so important to the group’s success that the prominent Cuban pianist Peruchi once said of him: “You’d need two guitarists to replace Galbán”.

Leave a Reply