Peret, the 'father' of Catalan rumba, dies from cancer aged 79
Pere Pubill i Calaf, better known as Peret, died at noon on Wednesday in a Barcelonan hospital, aged 79. The singer, guitar player and composer Peret was considered to be the 'father' of the so-called Catalan rumba, a fusion music style mixing Afro-Cuban mambo with flamenco and rock and roll. This rhythm was born in the 1950s within Barcelona's Gipsy community and became increasingly popular in the 1960s thanks to some of Peret's hits. Soon it became part of Catalonia's culture and common heritage, being extremely popular and receiving institutional recognition. Peret started his musical career extremely young in the 1940s. He published a total of 27 albums, and he was about to release his first disc entirely in Catalan. In his last years, he became particularly active in social and political movements, criticising poverty and supporting Catalan self-determination. A few weeks ago, he issued a press release announcing he was undergoing anti-cancer treatment.