Born in Matanzas into a family of musicians, Failde created
his own Orquesta Tipica which played danzas, waltzes, pasodobles
and other dance hall pieces. Held in great esteem, Failde's
orchestra was in a privileged position to introduce further
changes into the danza form. In 1879 he composed "Las
Alturas de Simpson," officially considered the first
danzon. Other well-known composition by Failde are "Cuba
Libre", "El mondonguito",and "A La Habana
Known as "The Mambo King," Perez Prado was one of
the most influential pop orchestra leaders of the early 1950s.
His concept of the mambo began to develop around 1943, incorporating
elements of American jazz. Jazz writer and critic Ralph J.
Gleason reported that "Prez" talked to him about
the mambo as being a combination od Afro-Cuban music with
American swing. Mambo produced the greatest world-wide dance
craze since the tango and the rumba, appearing in famous movies
like Fellini's "La Dolce Vita."
The legendary Cuban percussionist, singer, dancer and composer
Luciano Pozo is credited with being the most influential figure
in the development of Latin jazz and incorporating
religious drumming into Cuban orchestras, which until then
had only used bongos and timbales. He got his start after
moving to New York in 1947, where he met Dizzy Gillespie,
who had become interested in Afro-Cuban percussion. Among
his features with Dizzy were "Cubana Be," "Cubana
Bop," "Tin Tin Deo" and "Manteca."
Pozo co-wrote "Tin Tin Deo" and "Manteca."