A 2002 edition of Esteban Salas y Castro’ Christmas villancicos and cantatas, edited by Miriam Escudero. Source: Early Music America.

In Tuesday’s (1/2) Early Music America, Curtis Pavey writes, “Cuban composer, priest, and pedagogue Esteban Salas y Castro left a vast output of music, including over a hundred liturgical pieces. ‘Stylistically, Salas’ works employ a Baroque musical language which was typical in Latin America during the Colonial period,’ summarizes the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion-focused New Muses Project, ‘although his villancicos, or Spanish poetic and musical works, portrayed their own style as a result of the influence of Indigenous and African musical traditions.’ Lisa Lorenzino, in her essay ‘Esteban Salas and His Legacy of Music Education in Cuba’ … describes him as a ‘humble priest now considered to be Cuba’s first native-born art music composer’ and that he is ‘known throughout Cuba as the founder of a lineage of musical excellence.’… Yet the high quality of Salas’ music and his esteemed reputation are not well known outside of Cuba and the Spanish-speaking world…. In this short article, part of EMA’s ‘Early Music: the Americas’ series, I hope to spur publication and performances of Salas’ music and stimulate further research into this important composer’s life and works.”