Despite its relatively small size Cuba has had an inordinately large musical influence both inside the Caribbean and abroad. From the “rhumba” craze of the 1920s and ’30s to mambo and cha-cha-cha in the 1950s and ’60s and the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon of the late ’90s, Cuba has been central to popular music developments in Latin America, Europe, and the United States.

Unfortunately, no one has ever attempted to survey the extensive literature on the island’s music, in particular the vernacular contributions of its Afro-Cuban population. This unprecedented bibliographic guide, the third in ADP’s critically acclaimed Black Music Reference Series, attempts to do just that. Ranging from the 19th century to early 2009 Afro-Cuban Music offers almost 5000 annotated entries on all of the island’s main genre families, e.g. Cancion Cubana, Danzon, Son, Rumba, and Sacred Musics (Santeria, Palo, Abakua, and Arara), as well as such recent developments as timba, rap and regueton. It also provides sections on Afro-Cuban musical instruments, the music’s influence abroad, and a biographical and critical component covering the lives and careers of some 800 individual artists and ensembles.

Spanish-language sources are covered comprehensively, in particular dozens of locally published journals such as Bohemia, Carteles, Revolucion y Cultura, Revista Salsa Cubana, and Tropicana Internacional, as well as a sizable portion of the international literature in English, French, German, and other European languages.
The work concludes with an extensive reference section offering lists of Sources Consulted, a guide to relevant Libraries and Archives, an appendix listing artists and individuals by idiom/occupation, and separate Author and Subject Indexes.

The compiler is veteran bibliographer John Gray whose previous works include Blacks in Classical Music; African Music; Fire Music: a bibliography of the New Jazz, 1959-1990; From Vodou to Zouk; and, Jamaican Popular Music.

Release date: February 2012.
To pre-order please visit the ADP website:

Previous Titles in ADP’s Black Music Reference Series:
From Vodou to Zouk: a bibliographic guide to music of the French-speaking Caribbean and its diaspora (vol. 1)
Jamaican Popular Music, from Mento to Dancehall Reggae: a bibliographic guide (vol. 2)
Forthcoming (2012): Baila! A bibliographic guide to Afro-Latin dance musics, from Mambo to Salsa (Black Music Reference Series; vol. 4)

Praise for the author’s previous works:
—From Vodou to Zouk:  “…will prove an indispensable, in-hand reference to current French Caribbean music scholarship”—Library Journal
“…represents a major update of available bibliographical guides…exceedingly pleasurable to recommend…”—Notes (Music Library Association)

By Ken Archer

I am an ethnomusicologist, who obtained my doctoral degree at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. My areas of interests include the musical, ritual, and celebratory traditions of the circum-Caribbean and the African Diaspora.

I worked as a lecturer at the Columbus and Marion Campuses of the Ohio State University, where I taught classes in World Music, Rock and Roll/American Popular Music, Western Art Music, and directed the OSU Steel Pan ensemble.