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Orquesta Aragon: En Route

Founded by bassist Orestes Aragon Cantero in 1939 in Cienfuegos, Cuba, this string-and-flute charanga helped popularize the cha-cha-cha in the 1950s via its RCA Victor LPs. Important to Orquesta Aragon’s musical excellence was violinist/musical director Rafael Lay and flutist Richard Egues. Their arrangements swung hard with classical inspired boleros and danzones personifying the genre’s French roots but liberating it out of its aristocratic box with Afro-Cuban beats.

Now thanks to Lay’s son, violinist Rafael Jr., Orquesta Aragon is back but with a delightful contemporary twist. After his father’s passing Rafael Jr. discovered he inherited a repertoire of 700 arrangements and decided to restart the group in 1982.

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