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Author's Spotlight: Carol Steele



Carol Steele

Carol Steele used to be the Global Exchange Director of Cuba Customized Reality Tours, until her 2012 departure. Carol is a world-renowned percussionist whose résumé reads like a who’s who of popular music. In 1974 she was brought to New York from her native San Francisco as a featured artist in Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría’s band. She then went on to play with master tres player Nelson González and his band during the 1970s salsa boom. Landing a gig in Las Vegas with Diana Ross in 1978, Carol began her career in popular music. Over the last 30 years, artists ranging from Peter Gabriel to Steve Winwood, Joan Baez, Annie Lenox, Vanessa Williams, Tears for Fears, Dar Williams, and Bette Midler, to name only a few, have continually sought Carol out for tours and recordings. In 1987, Carol made her first trip to Cuba, a journey that she will always say changed her life completely. Over the past 23 years she has continued going to Cuba to study and play as often as possible. Carol was the first American woman to play with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s most venerable professional folkloric groups. She has also had the honor of playing and singing on tour in the U.S. with Lázaro Ros and Amelia Pedroso, two of Cuba’s top Afro-Cuban folkloric singers. Carol’s love of Cuban music and culture has been a great advantage in playing popular music. Her studies and gigs playing with Cuban and Cuban-influenced artists have provided her with a treasure trove of rhythms to draw on; the genius and “flavor” of Cuban music infuse many of her recordings and live performances. Carol is currently working on a One Woman Show, entitled “My Daughter, the Bongo Beater”, to share her many escapades with the rest of the world!

Posts by Carol Steele: