Book Presentation | The Arsenio Rodríguez Trilogy

Event information
Venue:Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables

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Arsenio Rodríguez (1911–1970) was an Afro-Cuban musician, composer, and bandleader. He was one of the most important Cuban musicians of the 20th century, specializing in son, rumba, and other Afro-Cuban music styles. In the 1940s and 1950s Rodríguez developed the son montuno, the basic template of modern-day salsa. He moved from Havana to New York in 1952, where he created his own big band. He claimed to be the true creator of the mambo and was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 200 songs.

In his trilogy of books about Arsenio Rodríguez, Dr. Jairo Grijalba Ruiz chronicles the musician's life in Havana and New York, reviews his numerous recordings, and discusses his impact on the development of son, mambo, and salsa. The titles of the three books by Grijalba Ruiz are:

1. Arsenio Rodríguez, el profeta de la música afrocubana [The Prophet of Afro-Cuban Music]

2. El ciego maravilloso [The Wonderful Blind Man]

3. El corsario negro de la chambelona [The Black Corsair of the "Lollipop"]

Dr. Jairo Grijalba Ruiz is a Colombian anthropologist, journalist, and writer who specializes in Afro-Caribbean popular music. He earned a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Cauca in Popayán, Colombia. He has directed and presented several music radio programs devoted to jazz, blues, and Latin music. He also produced and presented his own TV program, La hora del jazz. He has published numerous chronicles, interviews, reports, and essays on popular music in Colombia and other countries. He is the author or coauthor of ¡Fuera zapato viejo! Crónicas, retratos y entrevistas sobre la salsa en Bogotá (2014), Benny Moré sin fronteras (2013), and Edy Martínez, el hombre del piano (2009).

This event, to be conducted in Spanish, is free and open to the public. It is cosponsored by the Díaz-Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection of the FIU Libraries. To confirm your attendance and for more information, please call (305) 348–1991 or write