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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 22:51 GMT
'King of the Congas' dies in Cuba
Tata Guines playing the drums in Havana in December 2007
Guines had played with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis
Tata Guines, Cuba's most famous percussionist, has died of a kidney infection in Havana. He was 77.

Guines, whose real name was Federico Aristides Soto, died on Monday, Cuba's state media reported.

The "King of the Congas" shared the stage with some of the world's most renowned performers during a career spanning more than six decades.

In the US in the 1950s, he performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Josephine Baker and Dizzy Gillespie.

He had spent his formative years playing with some of the greats of 1930's and 40's Cuban music.

Despite his success in the United States, Guines returned to Cuba after Fidel Castro's communist revolution in 1959, saying he had never been able to get used to the racial segregation in the US at the time.

"Fame did not extend beyond the stage. Once you left the stage, it was like the signs said: 'Whites only'," he said in an interview published last year.

After spending years away from the public eye, he enjoyed renewed success in 2004 when he performed on the Grammy nominated hit album, Lagrimas Negras - Black Tears.



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