Faustino Oramas, a popular traditional singer and among the last original members of the Buena Vista Social Club, has died. He was 95.
Oramas died Tuesday of cancer, the official Communist Party newspaper Granma confirmed. Cuba state television reported Tuesday night that acting president Raul Castro had sent a floral wreath to Oramas’ funeral service earlier in the day.
Oramas, known as “El Guayabero,” who was popular for the double meanings and ribald humor of his songs, was the oldest surviving member of the original Buena Vista group of elderly musicians who became international stars when American guitarist Ry Cooder brought them together in the 1990s.
He was known for his renditions of traditional Cuban pieces such “Marieta” and “El Rey del Tumbaito.”
Legend has it that Oramas got his nickname, “El Guayabero,” after escaping the wrath of a jealous husband who caught him flirting with his wife under a tree bearing tropical guayabera fruit.
He was awarded Cuba’s National Humor Prize in 2002.