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The Afro of Cuban music

The Afro of Cuban music

By Collyn Stephens

BOSTON and HAVANA, Cuba — African influences are often lost when listening to Latin music. Cuban rhythms would be empty of the clave and the drums without the creativity, imagination and strength of the Yorùbá people who were forced to leave their homes as slaves. Today, those sounds still beat as the heart of the island.

Photo by Joshua Qualls | A young boy dances the rumba while a band plays on the street March 2, 2019, in Old Havana, Cuba. The rumba is a popular style of Afro-Cuban music and dance.
Photo by Joshua Qualls | A man plays the bongos to Afro-Cuban music in a square March 4, 2019, in Old Havana, Cuba. Afro-Cuban rhythms are a central part of Latin music.
Photo by Joshua Qualls | A band plays traditional Cuban folk and Afro-Cuban music at a restaurant March 3, 2019, in Las Terrazas, Cuba. Afro-Cuban rhythms are a central part of Latin music.

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