Here you'll find a list of Timba groups and some of the best-known songs from their repertoire:
- Adalberto Álvarez y su Son
Adalberto Álvarez is a Cuban pianist born in Havana in 1948.
He founded the group Adalberto Álvarez y su Son in 1984, after a spell as musical director of Son 14. Thanks to his authentic, Son Montuno-style music and elegant lyrics, he has earned the nickname "El Caballero del Son". Today, his daughter Dorgeris, nicknamed "la Sonera Mayor", has taken over the musical direction of the group.
- Havana D'Primera
Alexander Abreu is a Cuban trumpeter born in 1976 in Cienfuegos.
After having been a member and composer of the group Grupo Danson in Denmark, he formed his own group in 2008: Havana D'Primera, in which he will be the vocal leader.
- Angel Yos Y La Mecanica Loca
Angel Yos is a Cuban singer born in Havana in 1979.
He formed his first group, Fiesta Cubana, in 2007, as well as a reggaeton group, GAN P, with whom he toured extensively. In 2013, he teamed up with musicians from the French group La Mecanica Loca to form a new group: Angel Yos y la Mecanica Loca.
- Azúcar Negra
Leonel Limonta is a Cuban musician and composer born in 1954 in Santiago de Cuba.
He was a member of the great timba groups La Charanga Habanera and Bamboleo, where he composed many of their hits, before setting up his own group Azúcar Negra in 1998.
Barbaro Fines is a Cuban pianist born in Havana in 1982.
After working with a number of well-known groups such as La Charanga Forever and Issac Delgado, he moved to Peru and joined Los Conquistadores de la Salsa in 2002. In 2010, he will set up his own group, Barbaro Fines y su Mayimbe.
Lazaro Valdes is a Cuban pianist born in Havana in 1965.
After playing for several years with Pachito Alonso, he decided to form his own group Bamboleo in 1995, where he composed a number of tracks influenced by American funk and pop.
- Calle Real
Patricio Sobrado is a Swedish guitarist of Chilean origin.
In 1999, he teamed up with Rickard Valdés, son of Bebo Valdés, and formed a trio playing covers of traditional Cuban music. Little by little, the group grew and turned to Timba under the name Calle Real. Thanks to the group's predominantly Swedish origins, based in Stockholm, it was influenced by European musical genres and fused them with Cuban music.
- Elio Revé y su Charangón
Elio Revé Matos is a Cuban percussionist (timbales) born in 1930 in Guantánamo.
In 1956 he formed his group Orquesta Revé, experimenting with the fusion of Changüi and Son Montuno. It was later renamed Elio Revé y su Charangon. Many prestigious musicians and singers passed through this group before setting up their own bands, including Juan Formell, Cesar Pedroso, Chucho Valdès, Juan Carlos Alfonso and Emilio Frias. In 1997, after the death of Elio Revé, his son, Elio Revé Jr, nicknamed "Elito", took over as leader of the group, following in his father's musical footsteps.
- El Niño y La Verdad
Emilio Frías is a Cuban singer born in 1988 in Havana.
He began singing at a very young age with the group Tumbao Habana, before joining the famous group Elio Revé y su Charangon, where he earned the nickname El Niño. In 2013, he formed his own group, El Niño y la Verdad.
- La Charanga Habanera
David Calzado is a Cuban violinist born in Havana in 1957.
La Charanga Habanera was originally a group formed in 1988 to play traditional charanga repertoire, with David Calzado recruited as violinist. A few years later, he became the group's director and from 1993 onwards sought to modernise the group's musical style, bringing it closer to timba, with influences from American pop. In 1998, after a provocative concert that earned them a 6-month suspension, most of the musicians split from the group to form a new one: La Charanga Forever. David Calzado reformed a new Charanga Habanera with new musicians.
- Los Van Van
Juan Formell is a Cuban bassist born in Havana in 1942.
After playing with Orquesta Revé, he founded his own group, Los Van Van, in 1969. Experimenting with the fusion of Cuban music and "rock" elements, he created a new musical genre that he called Songo. He is still considered the precursor of what would become timba a few years later. In 2014, after the death of Juan Formell, his son Samuel took over the management of the group.
- Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor
Maykel Blanco is a Cuban pianist born in 1982 in Havana.
In 1996 he formed his own timba group, La Suprema Ley. At the same time, he worked as a percussionist with a number of groups including Tirso Duarte and Manolito Simonet. In 2005, he formed a new group: La Salsa Mayor.
Manuel González Hernández (known as "Manolín") is a Cuban singer born in 1965 in Guantánamo.
After dropping out of medical school, he started out in the group NG La Banda, where José Luis Cortés, the group's director, gave him the nickname "El médico de la Salsa". In 1993, he founded his own group.
- Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco
Manuel Simonet (known as "Manolito") is a Cuban musician born in 1961 in Camagüey.
Self-taught, he learned percussion at a very early age, followed by tres, bass and piano. He made his debut with the group Maravillas de Florida, one of the groups that put him on the map. Manolito hired some of the musicians from this group in 1993 to form his own group: Manolito y su Trabuco.
- NG La Banda
José Luis Cortés (known as "El Tosco") is a Cuban flautist born in Santa Clara in 1951.
At the age of 16, he began working with Los Van Van, later joining the group Irakere. In 1988, he formed NG La Banda (NG = Nueva Generación). Some of the group's biggest names were Issac Delgado, Manolín and Paulito FG. He is regarded as one of the originators of timba.
- Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini
Longino Rey Alonso (known as "Pachito") is a Cuban pianist born in 1955 in Havana.
In 1973, he joined the group Pacho Alonso y sus Pachucos, led by his father Pascasio Alonso (known as "Pacho"). When his father died in 1982, he took over the management of the group, which he renamed Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini.
- Papucho y Manana Club
Pedro Lázaro Ordóñez (known as 'Papucho') is a Cuban bassist and violinist.
Papucho was a member of groups such as Bamboleo before setting up Manana Club in 2009, where he incorporated urban elements such as hip-hop and rap.
- Paulito FG y su Elite
Pablo Fernández Gallo (known as "Paulito") is a Cuban singer born in 1962 in Havana.
He began his career in well-known groups such as Adalberto Alvarez y su Son and Dan Den. In 1992, he formed his own group: Paulito FG y su Elite.
- Pupy y los que Son Son
Cesar Pedroso (known as "Pupy") is a Cuban pianist born in 1946 in Havana.
In 1967 he joined Orquesta Revé, before leaving the group with Juan Formell to form Los Van Van. He stayed with the group for several years, composing a number of songs before setting up his own group in 2001: Pupy y los que Son Son.
Chucho Valdés is a Cuban pianist born in 1941 in Quivicán.
After working with his father Bebo Valdès, he founded Irakere in 1973, which started out as a Cuban jazz group but went on to experiment by incorporating elements of Afro-Cuban and traditional Cuban music to become a precursor of timba.