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Ramón S. Sabat Panart Collection



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Ramón S. Sabat Panart Collection | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Pablo Gil

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Collection Overview

Title: Ramón S. Sabat Panart CollectionAdd to your cart.

ID: CHC0149

Creator: Ramón S. Sabat

Extent: 10.0 Boxes

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian


This collection documents the activities of Panart, a pioneering Cuban record label created by Ramón S. Sabat (1902-1986) in the 1940s.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection documents the activities of Panart, a pioneering Cuban record label created by Ramón S. Sabat (1902-1986) in the 1940s. Panart sold millions of records worldwide and, according to Mr. Sabat, it was generally responsible for the extensive circulation of Cuban music around the world. The bulk of this collection consists of sound recordings in different formats: various phonograph record types, audiocassettes, reel to reel tapes and eight-track stereo tapes. In 1961, the Cuban government took over Panart's holdings in Cuba. Mr. Sabat and his family settled in the U.S. during the early 1960s, and they created a company in Miami that continued to distribute Panart recordings until the 1980s.

Biographical Note

Ramón S. Sabat was born in San Fernando de Camarones in the early 1900s. At an early age he started showing his musical inclinations. He studied music with José Rivero Rodríguez and learned to play the clarinet, the saxophone, the flute, and the piano. In 1919, Ramón moved to the United States to study music. While in the United States, Ramón enlisted in the U.S. Army and worked in one of the Army’s bands.

After Ramón served in the U.S. Army, he attended New York University and graduated with a degree in engineering. Mr. Sabat worked in different music labels and started various business ventures until 1944, when he opened the first record factory in Cuba called Panart and released its first recording,  “Dry Leaf,” by Carlos Alas del Casino. Panart had a tough time getting started due to RCA Victor’s dominant position in the record market and the relatively new character of the record technology at the time in Cuba. However, Sabat’s business abilities and musical vision made Panart a successful label. By 1957, Ramón had been able to expand his label and had sold around one million records worldwide. Panart helped spread Cuban music throughout the world.

As the Cuban revolution began, Ramón’s wife, Julia, sent copies of master tapes to New York. She was able to save about eighty percent of Panart’s catalog. Ramón did not want to leave his record company, so he sent his two daughters and wife to the United States. Julia then devised a scheme to get Ramón out of Cuba and into the United States. In 1961, Castro’s regime took over Panart. Julia and Ramón then settled in Miami. Julia started a record factory in Hialeah with Ramón’s brother Galo. Though the record label was not as successful as Panart, the music produced was a source of nostalgia for the Cuban refugees and was a reminder of the good times before Cuba fell into communist hands. Ramón passed away from a heart aneurysm on March 15, 1986.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Acquisition Method: Gifts of Julia R. Sabat, 1990, 2001, and 2003.

Preferred Citation: Ramón S. Sabat Panart Collection, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, FL

Processing Information: Collection-level record by Pablo Gil, 2014. Revised by Amanda Moreno, June 2017.

Other Note: Rights Statement: The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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