Latin Roots

Latin Roots: Juan Formell

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Juan Formell. i

Juan Formell. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP hide caption

toggle caption Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Juan Formell.

Juan Formell.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Set List

  • "Sandunguera," by Los Van Van (Esto Esta Bueno)
  • "Soy Todo," by Juan Formell y Los Van Van (Ay Diios, Aparame)

On this installment of Latin Roots from World Cafe, writer and producer Rachel Faro discusses one of her heroes, bass player Juan Formell. Formell led the Cuban band Los Van Van for almost 45 years, and was one of its remaining original members when he died on May 1 at 71. The band is now led by Formell's son, Samuel. Faro praises Los Van Van's ability to reflect the changes in Cuban society over the years, while still keeping things moving.

Check out Faro's Los Van Van Spotify playlist.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from