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Rafael Hernández

An early on émigré to East Harlem from his indigenous Puerto Rico, Rafael Hernández did very much to build up the Latin music community in the us through the 1920s and ’30s, both through his well-known songwriting and his leading of the renowned string quartet. His compositions, including “Lamento Borincano,” “Amor Ciego,” “Un Cumbanchero,” “No Me Quieras Tanto,” “Cachita,” and “Silencio,” have already been documented by many Latin performers through the entire years: Un Gran Combo, Trío Matamoros, Pedro Flores, Tito Puente, Ernesto Lecuona, Daniel Santos, Xavier Cugat, and Pérez Prado.

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