Grammy nominated percussionist, composer and singer Raúl Lara was born on Valentine’s Day in 1965. Raised in San Martín, El Cerro, Cuba, which is just behind Plaza de la Revolution in Havana, music came naturally to Raúl. His family consists of dancers and musicians, all of whom play Cuban music.
Raúl was also inspired by Benny Moré, Arsenio Rodríguez, La Sonora Matancera, Sierra Maestra, Pacho Alonso, Rolando Laserie, Conjunto Los Latinos, Rumbavana, Los Van Van, Son 14, among many others. As a child, Raúl played Afro-Cuban Rumba and Son with bands at school and with his peers.
In the 1980s, Raúl performed with local groups at Casa de Cultura. Tutored by renowned percussionist José Luis "Changuito" Quintana, Raúl started his professional career playing mainly at large hotels in Havana.
In 1990, Raúl moved to Sweden, where he currently performs and records with groups such as Timba Odara, Rey Changó, Son Entero and Laroye. Raúl has toured northern Europe, playing Latin rhythms as well as numerous other genres including Jazz, African, Caribbean, Pop, European Folk music. Raúl is, and always will be, rooted in the Afro-Cuban tradition. He has also formed a number of Salsa and Son groups including his own band - Raúl Lara y sus Soneros.
Raúl has evolved as a composer, and has his own unique sound with bits and pieces of inspiration from different époques from Cuban Music. He also has a way with words, and his lyrics contain references to everyday life in Cuba, as well as the African Cuban religion, Santeria, which is an important part of his life. He is an award-recognized composer, and has studied music at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.