Manuel Muñoz Cedeño (Bayamo 1813 -1895)

Considered one of the most reputed XIX Century Cuban musicians. He was born in January 1st, 1813, in a humble colonial house at Mercaderes, nowadays Maceo Street, venue of the provincial museum of this city, door to door with the maison where two outstanding Cubans were born, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Tristán de Jesús Medina.

His parents were Calixto Muñoz and Francisca Antonia Cedeño, quite respected families. Being very young he was fond of music, and also learned other works such as mason and master builder (construction foreman).

He was so fond of music that he played several instruments: flute, piano, guitar, violin, cello, becoming an outstanding composer. He was choirmaster of the Higher Church (Iglesia Mayor) and founded a classical, religious and popular music orchestra which become the most important one in his hometown.

He conducted his orchestra to play, for the first time, in the Te Deum and Corpus Christi Procession |being present the Spanish authorities, Perucho Figueredo´s subversive march La Bayamesa, which later became the National Anthem of Cuba. This took place in June 11th, 1868.

When Bayamo City was seized by the Independentists, Muñoz Cedeño was appointed Prefect of the Town Hall (Regidor del Ayuntamiento). Later, when the city was in the hands of Spanish colonialists, he was arrested and set to trial. Notwithstanding being sentenced to death by a firing squad, his defense made possible the veredict of Not Guilty.

He died in December 14th , 1895, in the same house he was born.

Among his compositions are: Theme with variations, for clarinet; Tribute, mourning march; Ave Maria and the songs Elvira, A la luna y Hermosa rubia.