La Sonora Matancera
Led by 90-year-old guitarist and vocalist Don Regelio Martinez, La Sonora Matancera has been called, by the Guinness Book of World Records, “the group with the longest duration.”
Formed by Valentin Cane, bassist Pablo “Babu” Vasquez, vocalist Eugene Perez, timbale player Manuel “Jimagua” Sanchez, trumpet player Ismael Goberna, and guitarists Domingo Medina, Jose Manuel Valera, Julio Gobin, and Juan Llopiz Baptist, the band has gone through many personnel changes in more than seven decades.
Vocalists in the group have included Daniel Holy, Nelson Pinedo, Albert Beltran, Bobby Hood, Argentine Carlos, and its greatest alumni, Celia Cruz. Original director, Valentin Cane, led the band until poor health forced him to retire at the end of the 1930s. Initially known as Septeto Soprano, the group adapted its name to La Sonora Matancera in 1932. Leaving Cuba, at the advent of the revolution of the 1950s, the group settled in New York, where they continued to share their love of salsa with enthusiastic audiences.