As a musician, Joel plays both the guitar and the Cuban Tres - a six string instrument (shaped like
a guitar) that is originally from both colonial Spain and Barocoa, Cuba. Originally born in Havana, Cuba,
Joel started private guitar lessons at 10 years of age, and soon began studying at the Conservatory of
Music Guillermo Tomas by the age of 14 before picking up the Cuban Tres at 18 years of age.
Though similar to a guitar, the main difference is that while playing the Tres, chords are seldom strung like
in guitar playing. Soon after mastering both instruments, Joel was playing in resorts and hotels throughout
Cuba. He migrated to the United States 17 years ago in 1996 and later attended Cal State University
while living out west. To help teach others, he wrote a book “Fun with Cuban Tres,” instructing children
and adults how to enjoy playing the Cuban Tres. The book is available in both English and Spanish.
Joel has played in many bands and has had many successful collaborations including playing on the
original group recording of “Guantanamera” in 2002 with musicians Jackson Brown and Joan Baez. He’s
performed with actor Andy Garcia and LA based Charanga Cubana and many more talented and diverse
musicians. Joel is based in Miami these days, and performs locally with Grammy Award winning Cuban