- Associated Press - Friday, July 8, 2011

HAVANA (AP) - Buena Vista Social Club guitarist Manuel Galban has died of a heart attack in Havana. He was 80.

An article in the official newspaper Granma says the “master of the guitar” died Thursday.

Galban was born in 1931 in Gibara.

A statement from Galban’s U.S. publicist says he began his career in 1944 and in 1963 joined Los Zafiros, which translates as “The Sapphires.” The group fused Cuban “filin” music with other styles and was one of the island’s most popular.

Much later he collaborated with musical giants like Compay Segundo and Ibrahim Ferrer in the Buena Vista Social Club project.

He also teamed up with Ry Cooder to record Mambo Sinuendo, winner of a Grammy for best pop instrumental album in 2004.