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This entertaining history of Cuba and its music begins with the collision of Spain and Africa and continues through the era of Miguelito Valds, Arsenio Rodrguez, Benny Mor, and Prez Prado. It offers a behind-the-scenes examination of music from a Cuban point of view, unearthing surprising, provocative connections and makingthe casethat Cuba was fundamental to the evolution of music in the New World. The ways in whichthe music of black slaves transformed 16th-century Europe, how the claves appeared, and how Cuban music influenced ragtime, jazz, and rhythm and blues are revealed. Music lovers will follow this journey from Andaluca, the Congo, the Calabar, Dahomey, and Yorubaland via Cuba to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Saint-Domingue, New Orleans, New York, and Miami. The music is placed in a historical context that considers the complexities of the slave trade; Cuba's relationship to the United States; its revolutionary political traditions; the music of Santera, Palo, Abaku, and Vod;and much more.