Ruben Gonzalez

Died December 8th, 2003

HAVANA - Cuban pianist Ruben Gonzalez, who found new fame in the mid-1990s playing with Compay Segundo's Buena Vista Social Club band, died Monday. He was 84.

The Cuban Music Institute confirmed that Gonzalez died in the capital, Havana, but did not provide a cause of death.

Gonzalez's keyboard gymnastics provided the heartbeat of the Buena Vista Social Club's string of traditional Cuban "son" music albums beginning in 1997.

The smallish man with grizzled hair and beard gained worldwide attention as the pianist on the opening album of the series, the Grammy-winning "Buena Vista Social Club."

The best-known "Buena Vista" figure, Compay Segundo, died at age 95 in July. Born Maximo Francisco Repilado Munoz, Compay Segundo was a guitarist and the band's lead singer.

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