Ernesto Lecuona was born in Guanabacoa, a village near Havana, Cuba. His oldest sister Ernestina introduced him to the instrument for which he showed extraordinary talent, playing the accompaniment of silent movies from the age of 7 to financially help his family.
In 1908 he composes his first piece “Cuba and America”, in 1912 his first musical, “Fantasia Tropical” as well as his first ballet, “La comparsa” thus marking the beginning of a prolific life as a composer. He wrote more than 400 songs, 176 pieces for the piano, 50 theatrical pieces, 31 orchestral works, 15 soundtracks for the cinema, 5 ballets, one trio and an opera. His popularity came to him thanks to his virtuosic, passionate, piano playing, the beauty of his melodies, the force of the rhythms of his compositions but also thanks to the hundreds of interpretations of pieces such as Siboney, Para Vigo Me Voy, Canto Karabali Maria my Own, La comparsa and Malagueña. His creative talent touched intensely a generation of Latin Americans who have not forgotten his music. During the 40s and 50s The Metro Goldwyn Mayer and the 20th Century Fox film companies asked him to write the music for many of their films. In 1942 he was awarded an Academy Award for his song “Always in my heart”, from a film produced by the Warner Brothers.