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Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Military Bands Department

The Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Military Band Department is a military band service based in Havana, serving the men and women of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces. It is led by Lieutenant Colonel Ney Miguel Milanés Gálvez (born in 1944), who has been leading the for 46 years since 1974. The band service is a cultural tool for the Revolutionary Armed Forces aimed at maintaining the patriotism and high morale of the servicemen and women and veterans. It is based off a mix of Russian, German, and Caribbean military musical tradition.

Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Bands Department
Banda De Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias De Cuba
Barack Obama and Raúl Castro at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba 03.21.16.jpg
Barack Obama and Raúl Castro meeting with members of the band.
Active1 April 1960; 59 years ago (1960-04-01)
Country Cuba
Branch Cuban Revolutionary Army
TypeInfantry band
RoleMusical Accompaniment
Current BandleaderLieutenant Colonel Ney Miguel Milanés Gálvez (nicknamed "El Maestro")

Brief History and Current RoleEdit

It was founded on 1 April 1960, by order of Juan Almeida Bosque, at the request of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who was then the President of the National Bank of Cuba. It plays an important role in providing accompaniment for military parades that take place on Revolution Square on January 2. This group is also present at ceremonial activities on the island.[1][2][3]

During the state visit of President Barack Obama to Havana, Obama greeted Ney Miguel Milanes Gálvez and praised the band for their performance of The Star-Spangled Banner saying that they did a "Good job".[4]


Bandleader Ney Miguel Milanés Gálvez

The Military Bands Department is made up of the following bands:

  • Band of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (Banda de Música del Estado Mayor General de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias)
  • Band of the Ceremonial Unit of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (Banda de Música del Unidad Ceremonial de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias)
  • Central Band of the Ministry of the Interior (Banda de Música del Ministerio del Interior), affiliated to the Ministry of the Interior
  • Band of the Eastern Army
  • Band of the Western Army
  • Band of the Central Army
  • Band of the Jose Maceo Military College
  • Band of the Antonio Maceo Military College
  • Band of the Jose Marti Military Technical Institute
  • Band of the Granma Naval Academy

If massed on parade, the massed bands of the department are made up of 370 bandsmen from several of the bands.


  1. ^ "Una banda gigante de música acompañará a los participantes en el desfile y revista militar en saludo al aniversario 60 de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias y dedicado a Fidel y a la juventud cubana". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  2. ^ "El programa comprenderá obras de Carl María von Weber, Abelardo Valdés, Antonio María Romeu, Agustín Jiménez Crespo, Luis Casas Romero y Juan Almeida, bajo la dirección del teniente coronel Ney Miguel Milanés Gálvez". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  3. ^ "Banda de Música Unificada bajo la dirección del Maestro, TC. Ney Miguel Milanés". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  4. ^ "Obama Visits Cuba". Retrieved 2018-07-18.