Ned Sublette was one of the most unclassifiable talents in the late 20th century New York music scene, quite a statement considering that New York new music specializes in unclassifiable talents. His forte is the unlikely combination of Cuban and country styles. Born in Texas and a resident of New York since 1976, he went through a lot of phases before discovering salsa, with a background including conservatory study of classical guitar and composition, musicology field work in New Mexico, and work with John Cage, LaMonte Young, Glenn Branca, and Peter Gordon. In the early '80s, his Ned Sublette Band was a cowpunk group of sorts, though more sophisticated than the usual such outfit.
Sublette got into salsa music in the '80s, and Cuban music in particular after his first trip to Cuba in 1990. His QBadisc label is devoted to releasing Cuban music in the United States, and he has executive-produced releases by Latin musicians such as Ritmo Oriental and Isaac Delgado. He's also worked as senior co-producer of Public Radio International's Afropop Worldwide show, and as of 1999, was working on a book about Cuban music. His 1999 release, Cowboy Rumba, combined the Texan country of his roots with Latin music, as he collaborated with musicians from Cuba, Puerto Rica, the Dominican Republic, and the New York salsa community. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi