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September 30, 2022
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Mucho Corazon
Produced by: Michele Ernsting
Chris Brookes
In the early 1800s, unique European street organs found their way to Cuba from France, via Haiti. Local composers began writing music for these organs, boleros and salsas instead of the waltzes and polkas traditionally played on their keys. More than a century later, Dutch organ-builder Leon Perlee traveled to Cuba to repair some of these ancient instruments, and began a remarkable life story of his own. He fell in love with his translator Milades, the niece of a famed Cuban organ-maker. The strict immigration laws in Holland, combined with restrictive visa laws in Cuba and the added complications of the U.S. embargo, have kept Leon and Milades physically apart. But the old organs that brought them together have kept them together: they share music across the oceans, writing and playing for each other and mailing the melodies back and forth. But nobody, least of all Leon and Milades, is sure of a happy ending.

Program Credits

Mucho Corazon was produced by Michelle Ernsting and Chris Brookes for Radio Netherlands the Dutch International Service. Technical Assistance by Florence Van Horn.


A massive collection of flamenco and Spanish culture, from books and music to apparel.

Programs by Michele Ernsting

Programs by Chris Brookes

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