Ignacio Piñeiro Martínez (Havana, 21 May 1888 - 12 March 1969) was a black Cuban musician and composer whose career started in rumba, and flowered in the rise of the son. He was one of the most important composers of son music; in total he wrote about 327 numbers, mostly sones.
Piñeiro was a brilliant rumbero who worked with musical groups from 1903 onwards. In 1906, was a member of the Timbre de Oro clave y guaguancó vocal group, and later directed Los Roncos guaguancó group. He was taught the double bass by María Teresa Vera, and in 1926 he was a member of her band Sexteto Occidente, which recorded in New York. In 1927 he founded the Sexteto Nacional; its original name was El Sexteto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro, and he wrote all its original numbers. Later, adding a trumpet, it became Septeto Nacional.
For financial reasons, he quit the group in 1935, and it was led by the trumpet player Lázaro Herrera until the group disbanded in 1937. Piñeiro became for some years the leader of Los Roncos, a rumba group, for whom he also wrote pieces. The Septeto Nacional was recreated several times from 1954 onwards, initially under Piñeiro's direction. It still exists.
Piñeiro's composition "Échale Salsita" influenced George Gershwin's composition Cuban Overture. The two met when Gershwin visited Cuba in February 1932. Several other songs were performed by other artists like Ray Barretto (Don Lengua) and René Álvarez (A la lae la la).
Dónde estabas anoche (1925),
A la lae la la,
Esas no son cubanas,
Mayeya, no jueges con los santos,
Las cuatro palomas,
Noche de conga,
Coco mai mai,
Échale Salsita (written on a train to Chicago in 1930, and the first use of the world "salsa" in Son, a term which would be used to market a large percentage of Cuban-derived music),
Llegó la tora