Firing Miguel Matamoros: Chapter 5, Birth of a Legend


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This is the final part of a 5-part historical-fiction series commemorating the 125th birthday of Miguel Matamoros, one of the pioneers of the Cuban “son“.

When Miguel finally opened the envelop at his home, he found $100 Cuban pesos.

Miguel Matamoros photo
Miguel Matamoros proved to be a savvy musician that made several formats of his group in its way to make Latin music history.

Up until then, Miguel didn’t make enough money off his music to live only from it. As he stared at the envelop with the money, he began to make sense of Don Bartolomé’s words. He had been holding back, afraid to go all-in on his music career.

He recalled the earlier scene at the store earlier, with the crowd buying his LP, which at the time he didn’t know it was his recording. That meant his album was well received by the people of Santiago, and that gave him a jolt of confidence.


During the next few months, the Trio Matamoros became one of the hottest acts in Cuban music. RCA Victor continued to release LPs with songs from that first recording session.

Later that year of 1928, the Trio Matamoros began traveling to perform in Havana and other parts of Cuba. RCA scheduled a second recording session for December of that same year. For that session they recorded in both, the Trio and Sextet format for the first time. The albums released from that session produced another bunch of hits.

The Trio Matamoros, and its other formats as Sextet, Septet, Conjunto, Cuarteto, and Orquesta Matamoros continued to perform for 35 years until 1962. At that time, the three friends decided to retire, but not before having left a musical legacy in Cuban and Latin music that we continue to enjoy to this day.

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