Elena Burke
Elena Burke was a revered and popular Cuban singer of boleros and romantic ballads.

She started her career by working in radio in the 1940s but began to work with smaller groups in the 1950s. In 1952, pianist and arranger Aida Diestro organized the vocal quartet called Cuarteto d'Aida
Cuarteto d'Aida
The Cuarteto d'Aida was a famous Cuban female singing group. It was founded and directed by the pianist Aida Diestro in 1952. Diestro picked four brilliant young singers to form the group: Elena Burke, Moraima Secada and the sisters Omara and Haydée Portuondo...

. The original members were Elena Burke, Moraima Secada
Moraima Secada
Moraima Secada Moraima Secada Moraima Secada (born María Micaela Secada Ramos (Santa Clara, Cuba, 30 September 1930 – Havana, 30 December 1984), known to her admirers as La Mora (the moor), was a temperamental singer who created a special style of interpretation within the Cuban music genre...

, Omara Portuondo
Omara Portuondo
Omara Portuondo Peláez is a Cuban singer and dancer whose career has spanned over half a century. She was one of the original members of the Cuarteto d'Aida, and has performed with Ignacio Piñeiro, Orquesta Anacaona, Orquesta Aragón, Nat King Cole, Adalberto Álvarez, Los Van Van, the Buena Vista...

 and Haydée Portuondo. After she got some attention, she went solo. By the time of the Cuban revolution she was a top solo artist performing in elegant cabarets in Havana. Her voice seemed to become stronger with age, as her subtle yet sophisticated technique graced every song she sang with an emotional weight. Over the years she has performed with top Cuban dance bands such as Orquesta Aragón
Orquesta Aragón
Orquesta Aragón was formed on 30 September 1939, by Orestes Aragón Cantero in Cienfuegos, Cuba. The band originally had the name Ritmica 39, then Ritmica Aragón before settling on its final form. Though they did not create the Cha-cha-cha, they were arguably the best charanga in Cuba during 1950s...

 and with highly acclaimed singer-songwriters, including Pablo Milanés
Pablo Milanés
Pablo Milanés Arias is a Cuban singer-songwriter and guitar player. He studied at a conservatory in Havana. He is considered one of the founders of the Cuban nueva trova, along with Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola...

. She certainly could "take a sad song and make it better", piercing the emotional veil of her audience with an almost palpable sincerity. Though she mostly interpreted classic Cuban boleros and Son, her versions were distinct, supported by top-notch musicians and arrangements.
She was the mother of Malena Burke
Malena Burke
Malena Burke is a well-known Cuban singer now living in Miami.She began her musical studies at various art schools when she was only 8 years old and graduated from the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory with diplomas in violin, guitar, and musical writing. Her singing career developed by coincidence...

 and grandmother of Lena, also well known Cuban singers.
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