Ibrahim Ferrer was a Cuban musician who, though well known in his own country, was catapulted to international fame when he appeared on the successful Buena Vista Social Club albums, which were produced by guitarist Ry Cooder. Ferrer was born in 1927 in San Luis, Cuba. His mother passed away while he was young and he was forced to busk to earn a living. When he couldn't busk he would sell roadside wares to passers by, such as fruit and periodicals. When he was 13 he formed a duo, called Los Jovenes del Son, with his cousin. They began getting enough work to eke out a living. All the while Ferrer was soaking up the sounds and musical stylings of Cuba such as the boleros, danzón, guarachas, son and blends of African and Spanish rhythms and melodies.