Dancer, singer and master percussionist Gregorio Hernández Ríos ‘El Goyo’, one of the best known performers of Afro-Cuban rumba, died in Havana on Sunday, January 8th, 2012. He was 75 years old.
The Cuban Ministry of Culture and the Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba (UNEAC) expressed their grief by citing Gregorio Hernandez’s achievements and his contribution to Cuban culture.
Gregorio Hernández Ríos was born in Havana on November 17th, 1936. He was the founder of the Conjunto Folclórico Nacional, which researched and recovered Afro-Cuban music of Yoruba and Bantu origin.
El Goyo taught music and dance at the Instituto Superior de Arte and other arts centers in Cuba and abroad.
He participated in 30 recordings, including “The Spirit of Havana” with Canadian sax player Jane Bunnet, and the second volume of “La Rumba Soy Yo” (I Am Rumba), “Con Sentimiento Mañana.”
Some of his most popular recordings include: “Rapsodia Rumbera” (1995), “Cuba Linda” (1996) and the collection “Bailes para Todos los Rumberos” (2006).