Cuba's Rising Son

Singer Ibrahim Ferrer

One of the most fortunate effects of the soulful Cuban ensemble Buena Vista Social Club was the rediscovery of master son vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer, who had been in retirement for 20 years and living in Havana shining shoes. After the Buena Vista CD went platinum, Ferrer's eponymous debut, in 1999, sold more than a million and a half copies itself, turning this boyish performer with a velvety but powerful voice into an international superstar. His new album, Buenos Hermanos, due out next month on Nonesuch, features more stylized, contemporary versions of Cuba's beloved boleros, sons, and merengues.