Trio Matamoros

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Trío Matamoros
Trío Matamoros, ca. 1930. From left to right: Rafael Cueto, Miguel Matamoros, Siro Rodríguez
Trío Matamoros, ca. 1930. From left to right: Rafael Cueto, Miguel Matamoros, Siro Rodríguez
Background information
OriginSantiago, Cuba
Years active1925-1961
LabelsVictor, Seeco
Past membersMiguel Matamoros
Rafael Cueto
Siro Rodríguez

The Trío Matamoros was one of the most popular Cuban trova groups. It was formed in 1925 by Miguel Matamoros (8 May 1894 in Santiago de Cuba – 15 April 1971; guitar), Rafael Cueto (14 March 1900 in Santiago de Cuba – 7 August 1991; guitar) and Siro Rodríguez (9 December 1899 in Santiago de Cuba – Regla, 29 March 1981; maracas and claves). All three were singers and composers. The group was originally called Trio Oriental, but changed their name to Trio Matamoros in 1928 upon the discovery that another group already claimed the Trio Oriental name.[1]

The Trío Matamoros played boleros and son. They toured all Latin America and Europe and recorded in New York. In 1940 Guillermo Portabales performed with the trio. Matamoros expanded the trio into a conjunto (Conjunto Matamoros) for a trip to Mexico and hired the young Beny Moré as singer from 1945 to 1947.[2] They recorded many 78 rpm records and LPs; some of their output is available on CDs. The group were renowned for the harmony of their voices, and the quality of the lyrics.

The group is considered a "seminal group in the rise of 'son'."[3] Throughout the nearly four decades that it was active, the group re-configured itself into many musical variations and acts as a quartet, septet, orchestra, etc.[4]

Miguel Matamoros was one of the greatest and most prolific composers of Cuban son. His first hit was "El que siembra su maíz" (He who sows his corn), followed by classics such as "Lágrimas negras" (Black tears) and "Son de la Loma." [5] The group, whose members stayed together for 35 years, announced their disbandment in May 1961.[6][7] Their last concert had taken place in New York the year before.[8]


  1. ^ "Firing Miguel Matamoros: Chapter 3, Renaming the Trio". Latino Music Cafe. 2019-09-01. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  2. ^ Lenore, Víctor (2019-08-19). "Benny Moré: cien años del bárbaro del ritmo". Vozpópuli (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  3. ^ Jelly-Schapiro, Joshua (2019-09-28). "Opinion | Listen to the Storm Songs of the Caribbean". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  4. ^ "Firing Miguel Matamoros: Chapter 5, Birth of a Legend". Latino Music Cafe. 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  5. ^ Sublette, Ned 2004. There is a double entendre in the title, because "Son" can mean "They are" or the genre of music "Son". So this can mean They are from the hill or The music of the hills. Double entendre is a typical characteristic of Cuban music and an important part of its charm and inherent humor.Cuba and its music: from the first drums to the mambo. Chicago, p367.
  6. ^ Magaña S., Walter G. (July 2006). "Matamoros y su música". Herencia Latina. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Rodríguez Domínguez, Ezequiel. (1985). El Trío Matamoros: treinta y cinco años de música popular. La Habana: Editorial Arte y Cultura.
  8. ^ Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (Fall 2013). "Trío Matamoros" (PDF). Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music 1925-1960. Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved 16 April 2015.