Juan de Marcos González
|Juan de Marcos González|
Pueblo Nuevo, Havana
Juan de Marcos González was born in the Pueblo Nuevo barrio of Havana to a musical family. His father, Marcos González Mauriz (d March 1990), was a vocalist who performed with prominent bandleader Arsenio Rodríguez. He has two daughters, Gliceria and Laura Lidia González Abreu and one son, Juan de Marcos González Pérez. He studied classical and tres guitar at the Ignacio Cervantes Conservatory and with maestros Leopoldina Nuñez and Vicente "Gutun" Gonzalez. Later took courses on orchestral conduction and contemporary harmony at Goldsmith college, London.
Growing up, González was a fan of American and British rock music before rediscovering his Cuban roots and establishing a "traditional" Cuban band, Sierra Maestra, in 1978. González's stated goal was to keep the torch of Cuban folk music alive for a younger generation. Sierra Maestra has recorded fourteen albums in Cuba, and toured internationally.
González became a key member of the Buena Vista Social Club, using his contacts in the Cuban music world to locate musicians. When Ry Cooder arrived in Havana for recording, González himself was working an "all star" album tribute to the golden era greats of Cuban music, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, featuring many of the same musicians who comprise the Buena Vista Social Club. Subsequently, González led the Afro-Cuban All Stars and Rubén González on their European and American tours, and directed the Buena Vista Social Club concerts in Amsterdam and at Carnegie Hall.