Enrique Jorrin (Candelaria, Pinar del Río, December 25, 1926 – Havana, Cuba;  December 12, 1987)

Enrique Jorrin was a Cuban composer, violinist and band director. He is famous as the inventor of a style of Cuban dance music called cha-cha-chá.

At an early age, his family moved to the El Cerro neighborhood of Havana, where Enrique Jorrin was to live for the rest of his life. At the age of 12, he began to show a particular interest in music and decided to learn the violin. He then pursued musical studies at the Municipal Conservatory of Havana.

He started out as a violinist in the orchestra of Cuba’s National Institute of Music, under the direction of González Mántici. In 1941, he became a member of the danzonera Hermanos Contreras. It was here that he became interested in popular music. Next, he joined the renowned charanga Antonio Arcaño y sus Maravillas.

In the early 1950s, while a member of Ninón Mondéjar’s Orquesta América, he created a new genre of dance music which became known as the cha-cha-chá.

He lived in Mexico from 1954 to 1958. In 1964, he toured Africa and Europe with his orchestra- Orquesta de Enrique Jorrin. From 1964 onwards, he recorded extensively for the Cuban record label EGREM.

In 1974, he organized a new charanga, which included singer Tito Gómez and pianist Rubén González. This orchestra is still active in Havana and includes many songs by Jorrín in their active repertoire.

All his accomplishments were all fulfilled while raising his nephew Omar Jorrin Pineda, who grew up playing the piano for the orchestra as he got older. Omar Jorrin Pineda currently resides in a small Cuban community in New Jersey known to be Union City.