Cuban singer Israel Kantor has died from cancer at the age of 56. Kantor, who fronted the band Los Van Van before emigrating to the US, passed away on Saturday at his home in Miami.
Born Wilfredo Israel Sardinas in western Cuba, the singer changed his name in 1984 at the suggestion of Puerto Rican musician Johnny Pacheco. After several world tours with his popular band, he decided not to return to Cuba in order to exploit greater freedom and career possibilities abroad. He has been quoted as saying: “I had great schooling before coming to Los Van Van. After I travelled a lot with them, I had much restlessness to know the world, and the third time that we were in Mexico, I decided not to return to
In 2002 Kantor joined the Miami based Tropicana All Stars orchestra, a group nominated for two Latin Grammy awards and two Grammy awards for their albums ‘Recuerda a Benny More’ and ‘Tradicion’.