Celia Cruz was buried today, after a service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Cruz died from a brain tumor Wednesday in her home at Fort Lee, N.J., at age 77.
In the 1950s, Cruz became famous with the Afro-Cuban group La Sonora Matancera. She left Cuba after its 1959 revolution, coming to the United States in 1960. Her music and voice help form latino identity. I was privileged to meet her on a plane about 10 years ago, She said in an interview that in a sense she fulfilled her father’s wishes that she become a teacher because as an artist she taught people about her culture and about happiness: “En un sentido, he cumplido con los deseos de mi padre de que fuera maestra, ya que a travï¿½s de mi mï¿½sica puedo enseï¿½arle a generaciones de personas sobre mi cultura y la felicidad que se puede encontrar dando alegrï¿½a. Como artista, quiero que la gente sienta sus corazones cantando y sus espï¿½ritus rebosantes”.
Let’s continue to enjoy her music as she lives in our hearts and culture.