Cristobal Diaz de Ayala
Cristobal Diaz de Ayala was born on June 20, 1930 in Havana, Cuba. He studied at the University of Havana, where he attended the School of Journalism, obtained a degree in Social Sciences, and graduated from the Faculty of Law.
Diaz Ayala immigrated to Puerto Rico in 1960, and was admitted by the Puerto Rican Law Association in 1966. He has published hundreds of articles and more than a dozen books. Among his most prominent works are Música cubana del Areito a la Nueva Trova (1981); Si te quieres por el pico divertir: historia del pregón musical latinoamericano (1988); Música cubana del areito al rap cubano (1993); Cuando salí de La Habana: 1898-1997: cien años de música cubana por el mundo (1998); La marcha de Los Jíbaros 1898-1997 (1998); Cuba canta y baila: discografía de la música cubana, primer volumen: 1898-1925 (1994) y segundo volumen: de 1925 a la actualidad (2005); Los contrapuntos de la música cubana (2006), San Juan-New York: discografía de la música puertorriqueña (2009), Oh Cuba Hermosa Volumen 1 y 2. Diaz Ayala has also compiled and published two major selections of the most representative music of Cuba (100 Canciones cubanas del Milenio) and Puerto Rico.
The Diaz Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection (DAC) is the most extensive publicly available collection of Cuban music in the United States. Diaz Ayala donated it to Florida International University Libraries in 2001. The collection compiled throughout 25 years, contains more than 150,000 items. It was recently appraised at over one million dollars. The materials collected include a variety of formats such as books, LP’s, 78rpm, 45rpm, CDs, photos, videos, cassettes, sheet music, catalogs, RCA Victor cards, and posters, among others. The collection does not only include materials from Latin America musicians but also from artists from all around the world that have a connection to Latin roots. Rare and valuable items recorded during the pre-revolutionary Cuba are also part of the DAC. Under this category, it is possible to find cylinders, pianola rolls, 78 rpm, and rare books. Fragile 78 rpm records have been digitized in order to preserve them and keep them available for academic and research purposes.