Cuba: Music and Revolution

Original Album Cover Art of Cuban Music, The Record Sleeve Designs of Revolutionary Cuba 1960-85


Spanning Cuban music from rumba to salsa, and graphic styles from socialist realist to geometric abstraction, this volume of Cuban record cover art traces a musical form in constant revolution


ISBN: 9781916359802 Category:

Gilles Peterson, Stuart Baker


The first ever book about Cuban record sleeve design, compiled by Gilles Peterson and Stuart Baker, Cuba: Music and Revolution features hundreds of rarely seen vinyl records from the start of the Cuban Revolution at the beginning of the 1960s up until 1985, when Cuba’s Special Period, brought about by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of Russia’s financial support for the Cuban government, led to the demise of vinyl-record manufacturing in Cuba. The artwork here reflects both the cultural and musical depth of Cuba as well as the political influence of revolutionary communism.

Over the past century, Cuban music has produced a seemingly endless variety of styles-rumba, mambo, son, salsa-at a dizzyingly fast rate. Since the 1940s a steady stream of Cuban musicians has also made the migration to the US, sparking changes in North American musical forms: bandleader Machito set New York’s jazz and Latin scene on fire, and master drummer Chano Pozo’s entry into Dizzy Gillespie’s group led to the birth of Latin jazz, to name just two.

After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the new government closed American-owned nightclubs and consolidated the island’s recording industry under a state-run monopoly. Out of this new socialist agenda came new musical styles, including the Nueva Trova movement of left-wing songwriters. The 1980s saw more experimentation in modernist jazz, salsa and Afro-Cuban folkloric music.

Generously illustrated with hundreds of colour images, Cuba: Music and Revolution presents the history of Cuban record cover art, including many examples previously unseen outside the island itself.

Additional information

Weight 2308 g
Dimensions 30.4 x 30.3 cm
Publisher name Soul Jazz Records
Publication date 1 February 2021
Number of pages 216
Format Hardback
Dimensions 30.4 x 30.3 cm
Weight 2308 g


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Gilles Peterson is a BBC radio and worldwide club DJ and record collector supreme. He is the founder of the record label Brownswood Recordings, as well as Talking Loud and Acid Jazz, and founder of the radio station Worldwide FM. As a club DJ he first fell in love with latin music. In 2009, and for much of the following decade, Gilles Peterson was flying in and out of Cuba, recording and releasing new Cuban music under the Havana Cultura banner. Stuart Baker is the founder of the record label Soul Jazz Records and the publishing house Soul Jazz Books. Soul Jazz Records has released hundreds and hundreds of critically acclaimed albums in a multitude of genres. As a publisher Soul Jazz Books has released deluxe art books on Dancehall, Voguing, Punk, Disco and a number of Record Cover art books including Freedom, Rhythm and Sound, Bossa Nova and Disco. Stuart Baker has been collecting Cuban music for over 25 years. He first travelled to Cuba in 1994 to produce a series of albums for Soul Jazz Records and continues to trawl the streets of Havana for original Cuban vinyl whenever he is there.