May 8 has been declared ‘Day of the Cuban Son’ in homage to this music-dance genre born in Cuba and the musical legacy of its great exponents, Miguel Matamoros and Miguelito Cuní, announced the Cuban Institute of Music in October.
It has been officially recognised in law by the Cuban government which already declared Son as part of Cuban intangible national heritage since 2012. It will now consider for Son to be put forward to UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The main promoter of this initiative has been master of the son, Adalberto Álvarez, winner of the 2008 National Music Award, who is delighted with the decision.
May 8 coincides with our commemoration of the births of Miguelito Cuní and Miguel Matamoros, Alvarez explained.
Also, ‘El Caballero del Son’, as Álvarez is known, declared that this is only half of the task, we still have to get the son to be named Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The Cuban son is a danceable vocal and instrumental genre that constitutes one of the basic forms within Cuban music that fuses African musical elements with Spanish musical elements.
It is claimed that it was born in the easternmost region of Cuba, in places such as Guantánamo, Baracoa, Manzanillo and Santiago de Cuba at the end of the 19th century, although there is evidence that the oldest known Cuban sones date back to the 16th century, such as Son de Má Teodora, possibly from 1562, played by two Dominican sisters, Micaela and Teodora Ginés.