Best Latin Singer (2006)

Descemer Bueno

Afro-Cuban fusion singer Descemer Bueno's calls home to Havana are echoing from Miami stages across the Florida Straits to the seawall along Malecón Boulevard in the Cuban capital, and even onto Madrid's music scene. Bueno, a founder of legendary Latin funk band Yerba Buena and current frontman of Siete Rayo, boasts a brand of funk, jazz, merengue, reggaeton, hip-hop and Afro-Cuban rhythms all his own. It was recognized with a record deal from Universal Latino, as well as Spain's prestigious Goya Award for Best Music Written for a Film in the movie Havana Blues. When Bueno belts out the song "Habana," it sounds like an eerie cry, a yearning for unification in the Cuban diaspora. "If I never go back, it will break my heart," he sings, followed by a reinforcement of all that he is: "I represent the Afro-Cuban generation." Let's hope that cry will lead to a new understanding of Cuba in all its of political and ethnographic makeup.

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