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Origin:
Cuba
Decades:
1909-1967

José "Cheo" Marquetti (April 4, 1909 – March 29, 1967), was an important but underappreciated Cuban singer (reginero and sonero) and songwriter in the guajira-son style.

Marquetti was born in Alquizar, Cuba. He started his career in the late 1930s as singer of danzons with the Belen Puig Orchestra as well as Ernesto Muñoz's Conjunto. He then joined a number of septetos, among them Septeto Cauto, led by Manuel 'Mozo' Borgella with whom he first recorded in 1940, followed by Septeto Hatuey, Septeto Fachenda and the famous Septeto Habanero.

In an effort to achieve wider recognition he left Cuba for Mexico in the mid forties. Only mildly successful, he returned in 1953. Back in Havana he joined Orquestra Sensacion, led by Rolando Valdez (to briefly replace the much more famous sonero Abelardo Barroso). This engagement was followed by temporary stints at a group whose fame survives today, Chappottin Y Sus Estrellas, whose members at the peak of their success and fame were Felix Chappottin, Miguelito Cuni, Rene Alvarez and Louis 'Lili' Martinez as well as Marquetti. Between 1955 and 1957 he had his own conjunto with whom he recorded a couple of albums for the Panart and Egrem labels.

In 1957 he traveled to Venezuela and on his return to rejoined Orquestra Sensación. In 1958 he left the group and formed another conjunto for more recordings. In 1961 he dissolved his group to move to Panama. He returned to Havana in 1963. After his return he was an occasional contributor to Grupo Tutankamen. He died, almost forgotten, in Havana, Cuba, at the relatively young age of 57.