Alexis Puentes has been in the family business since he was 4. That's when he joined his dad and a group of 24 guitarists in a performance aired on Cuban national TV. His father, respected guitarist and teacher Valentin Puentes, was so particular about his children's musical education that he controlled the music his son listened to.
The younger Puentes now records as Alex Cuba. In his music, you can hear how he's blended his father's musical influence — and stories from the Cuban countryside — with a touch of '70s soul.
Alex Cuba's new album is called Agua del Pozo, which translates as "well water." One song, "Fiesta Religion," evokes Santeria deities Chango and Elegua; another is about his hometown of Artemisa, well-known for its musical community.
In a recent visit to NPR's Studio 4A, Alex Cuba performs "Si Pero No" from the new record.