Vincenzo Perna was born in Turin, Italy, where he studied piano and music theory. He holds a degree in music from the University of Bologna and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. He has lectured at universities and conservatoires, written on jazz and popular music for Italian and international encyclopaedias, edited and translated books on popular music, and contributed to the report Music in Europe (Brussels 1996). He has been the former secretary of the Italian branch of IASPM and published essays and articles in Italy, Belgium, Britain, US, Canada and Cuba. As a journalist, he has been contributing since 1990 to the Italian music newsmagazine Il Giornale della Musica. He is the author of the book Timba. The sound of the Cuban crisis (Aldershot 2005).