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Founded by Havana-born bassist and vocalist Ignacio Piniero in 1927, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero have played an important role in Cuba's music for more than seven decades. Pioneers of Son, a rhythmic blend of African and Cuban music that evolved into Salsa, the Mambo, and Latin jazz, the group was the first Son band to incorporate trumpet as a lead instrument. Attracting global recognition with their performance at the World Exposition in Seville in 1928, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero were, reportedly, the first band to mention "salsa" in a song, "Echale Salsita," recorded in 1933. The song, composed by Piniero, was adapted by George Gershwin for the opening theme of his "Cuban Overture." Since Piniero's death in 1968, following 41 years at the band's helm, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero has been directed by a series of leaders. Guitarist and composer Rafael Ortiz, who took over after Piniero's death, bequeathed the position to lead singer Carlos Embale in 1982. Leaving the band due to illness in 1998, Embale's leadership was inherited by guitarist Richard Aymee Castro. Remaining true to their original musical roots, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero continue to serve a dance-inspiring mix of montano, merengue, bolero, rumba, and cha cha cha.
Septeto Nacional (National Septet), or the Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro, is a group credited with expanding the Son musical style before Arsenio Rodríguez. It added the trumpet to percussion, vocals, and strings. The group started as a sextet in 1927 in Central Havana. In 1929 it played at the World Exposition in Sevilla, and in 1933, it was invited to the "Century of Progress" World Exposition in Chicago. In the same year, Lázaro Herrera took over the group when Ignacio Piñeiro left it for financial reasons - despite their success the musicians earned very little. The group disbanded in 1937 but resumed playing for a recording session in 1940 and a television appearance in 1954. After the Cuban revolution of 1959, the group played again and is still playing. Its CD Poetas del Son was nominated for a grammy in 2004.