Juan de Marcos Gonzalez followed his father’s advice up to a certain point. His father was a musician in Cuba in the 1950’s and did not want his son to follow in his footsteps. He told his son to study something that he could make a living at rather than playing music all night for a few dollars. Gonzalez took his father’s advice and studied engineering and then received a Ph.D. in Russian. He taught Russian at the University of Havana until his father’s death. He then quit teaching to pursue music full time.