Celeste Mendoza and Her Rumba

Celeste Mendoza

Por Zahrah

HAVANA TIMES – Celeste Mendoza, a.k.a. “La Reina del Guaguanco”, was the first woman to sing this form of rumba, having been an exclusively male genre until then.

She began her career in Havana in the 1950s as a dancer, performing at cabarets including the Tropicana, and won several radio contests before signing with Gema Records, recording with Bebo Valdes’ orchestra and launching her solo career.

Her deep and sultry voice contrast beautifully with more traditional sounds. Here is “Mi Rumba echando Candela”.




The Havana Times Music playlist can be accessed on all of our pages both in English and Spanish.

Playlist for June 10-16

  1. Mi Rumba echando Candela
  2. Bemba Colora
  3. Son Guaracha Guajira
  4. Nena
  5. Seguire sin Sonar
  6. Sobre una Tumba, una Rumba
  7. Chencha la Gamba
  8. Como Duele Eso
  9. Que me Castigue Dios
  10. Para que Sufras