Xochitl Dorsey  (Producer/Writer/Sound Recordist)

In Cuba, the musical ensemble “Los Muñequitos de Matanzas” is known as the “keepers of the rumba flame.” With its roots in West African percussion and Spanish “decima” singing, and reinterpretation of sacred songs into secular ones, Rumba is the type of music that could have only emerged from Cuba.

The U.S. embargo against Cuba has kept “Los Muñequitos”under the radar for much of their fifty-plus year history, but the Obama administration recently loosened travel restrictions and reopened cultural relations with the Island. As a result, musical legends like “Los Muñequitos” can play in the United States again.

We recently caught up with “Los Muñequitos de Matanzas” in New York City during their performance at the “¡Si Cuba!” Music and Arts Festival. It was their first time in the U.S. in over 10 years.