E-mail: thecubanmusicproject@gmail.com | Mobile: 415.322.0030

Who We Are

What is Popular Music and Dance?

What is Folkloric Music and Dance?


The Cuban Music Project is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Cuban music and dance. Upholding the Cuban tradition of oral history, we aspire to document the rich cultural heritage of living Cuban artists and share their invaluable knowledge with generations to come.

Roberto Borrell is a professional dancer, percussionist, teacher and musical director. Roberto grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in Havana, Cuba, during the heyday of Cuban Popular Music (Música Popular). He spent his youth in Social Clubs dancing to the live music of Chappottín y Sus Estrellas and Orquesta Aragón. In his twenties he enjoyed a successful career with the Conjunto Folkórico Nacional de Cuba and later directed his own dance company, Kubata. As a professional percussionist he played with the most illustrious of Cuban musicians, including Luis Chácon, Papo Angarica, Pancho Quinto, Armando Albertini, “Gorila”, René Allón, and “Musquitó”.

Like thousands of other Cubans, Roberto moved to the United States in 1980. After a 10-year stint in New York, where he formed Conjunto Tipico and performed at The Lincoln Music Center and Carnegie Hall with Celia Cruz, Roberto relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. There he met Tregar Otton, and together they founded the highly successful Orquesta La Moderna Tradición. At the time this was the only ensemble in the United States dedicated to presenting authentic Cuban Popular Music from the 19th and 20th century, especially Danzónes. Unusually skilled in both the Folkloric and Popular traditions, Roberto continues to perform and teach in Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oregon, Seattle, Atlanta and internationally via Skype.

Claudia Finkle, ACE, has an extensive background in the film industry. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Claudia worked in Los Angeles as a film producer and editor for over 30 years. Claudia produced three seasons of the American Cinema Editors “Invisible Art/Visible Artists” program. She has been the chief editor on over 20 feature length films and documentaries. Among others, she worked closely with Tony Scott, Marty Brest, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, David O. Russell, Diane Keaton, Ed Harris and Patrick Swayze. Claudia has had an avid interest in Latin music and dance for 20 years. She has focused on Cuban music and dance since 1997 and has performed in the Bay Area with Rueda Con Ritmo.

Tregar Otton, a classically trained violinist, musical director, composer and arranger, was born in the Marshall Islands and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. While living in New York in the 90’s he played with Virgilo Martí y sus Majaderos, and along side of Cuban legends Chocolate Armenteros, Patato Valdez and Joe Santiago. He also worked closely with Juan Carlos Formell, and with the celebrated New York charanga groups Orquesta Broadway and La Típica Novel.

Tregar has been a part of the Bay Area Latin music scene since 1990, working primarily with Orquesta La Moderna Tradición, Los Cenzontles, and Potaje.

Anne Waltzer studied fine arts at Antioch College and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to launch her career as an art director and graphic designer. Starting in the 1990s her involvement with the Afro/Cuban/Latin Jazz music and dance scene made her the go-to designer for CD packages for Cuban and local artists such as Pancho Quinto, the Machete Ensemble, Los Terry, Patato, Orquesta La Moderna Tradición and the classic folkloric recordings Ilu Añaand Bata Ketu.

Anne has also served as art director for Wine and Spirits, Alternative Medicine and Marin Magazines. Currently she works for Storefront Political Media, a political consulting firm active in civil rights, labor union and environmental issues.

Ileana de la Torre was born in Camagüey, Cuba. She polished her bilingual skills while attending school in Venezuela, the US, France and England. Ileana lives in San Francisco, California working as a teacher, translator and certified healthcare interpreter. Among other projects she transcribed the interviews on “Cuba Va”, a documentary produced by Oscar nominated film makers Gail Dolgin and Vincente Franco.

The Cuban Music Project is an LLC.