Enrique Raúl Planas Fernández has become a legend of Cuban music. He was born in 1933 in Camajuaní, Villa Clara province, and died in Havana in 2001.
When he was only thirteen years old he joined a number of son groups in his native town. During the 1940s, he settled down in Havana and joined the Juanito Roger ensemble and the Ernesto Duarte´s orchestra and "Kubavana" jazz-band as a singer. It was precisely after a significant number of recordings he made with Carlos Barbería´s "Kubavana" jazz-band that his voice dazzled audiences attending important scenarios like the Tropicana Cabaret.
Together with the Sonora Matancera and Celia Cruz, Raúl Planas made his first presentations across almost every country in America and Europe. Likewise, he made several records for the Puchito, Panart and RCA Victor record companies.
Undoubtedly, one of his most prolific stages began in 1966 when he joined the Rumbavana ensemble (founded ten years before ) blending his voice with the voices of singers Fernando González and Guido Soto and triggering a whole chain of successes recorded by the EGREM label and by a number of radio broadcasting studios.
Many themes from that time still remain etched in our memory, namely, "Quiéreme mucho, Caridad" by Raúl Planas himself and "Descarga, corazón" by Jorge Rivero. But Raúl Planas also conquered the popular preference with pieces such as "Mariquilla", "Anda, china", "Repite y pon", "Yo soy del campo y del monte" and "Juancito Trucupey".
During the 1970s, the Rumbavana ensemble was renovated and singers Orestes Macías, Raúl Planas, Fernando González and Guido Soto, under the guidance of Joseíto González, produced many musical hits, some of which "like "Te invito un momento" and "Te traigo mi son cubano"-- were vocalized by Raúl Planas.
In 1982, Raúl Planas first joined the Tropicuba ensemble and then the Chappotín ensemble. Later on, he became a member of the Rubalcaba Orchestra. In 1994, he formed part of Félix Reyna´s Charanga. Finally, he became independent and participated, as a very special guest, in countless outstanding recording productions as, for example, the CD entitled "Pasaporte" (winner of the EGREM Great Award in 1994) where Raúl Planas performed together with important musicians of the stature of Tata Guines and Miguel Díaz "Angá".
In 1996, he formed part of "Afro Cuban All Star", the renowned international project, under the guidance of Juan de Marcos González and participated in the recording of "A toda Cuba le gusta" nominated for the Grammy Awards in 1998. A year later, the EGREM label launched the "Son inconcluso" record where Raúl Planas offered masterful versions of musical pieces composed by Cuban pianist Lilí Martínez together with stars like Ñico Rivera and Cotán.
Raúl Planas devoted his voice to both the son and the bolero and became an indispensable and prominent singer.