Cuban Memories: Celebrating Cuban singer Celia Cruz

Esperanza B. de Varona, Gladys Gómez-Rossié, Celia Cruz and Lesbia Orta Varona during a visit to Richter Library in 1999 when the University of Miami awarded Cruz an honorary doctorate in music.

This week we commemorate 10 years since the death of Cuban singer Celia Cruz. Internationally renowned as “La Guarachera de Cuba,” the award-winning singer graced us with over 50 years of iconic music that would become influential in the history of Cuban performance.

In 1999, Celia Cruz visited us at Richter Library when the University of Miami awarded her an honorary doctorate in music. At the time of her passing in 2003, we hosted an exhibition in her honor. Following her funeral, her husband Pedro Knight and the Municipios de Cuba en el Exilio presented us with the flag that draped her coffin during her wakes and funeral masses in Miami and New York. This flag is permanently on display in the Elena Díaz-Versón Amos conference room in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

The images shared here are from our collection of photographs, memorabilia, and clippings about Celia Cruz.