Grammy Award-winning guitarist Manuel Galban has passed away at the age of 80.
The musician suffered a heart attack and died at his home in Havana, Cuba on Thursday (08Jul11).
Galban's manager, Daniel Florestano, tells Entertainment Weekly, “It is a very sad day for Cuban music and fans of Cuban music. Galban’s enormous impact worldwide with his unique guitar sound and warm smile will be missed by many.”
Galban joined the popular Cuban band Los Zafiros in the 1960s before forming his own group, Batey, in the 1970s.
He also appeared in Wim Wenders' 1999 documentary Buena Vista Social Club, and then toured with the Cuban legends featured in the film.
He won a Grammy Award in 2004 for his album Mambo Sinuendo, which he released with pal Ry Cooder.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.