Jorge Alberto de Armas
November 8th, 1960 – January 7th, 2024
Jorge Alberto de Armas, age 63, passed away on Sunday, January 7th 2024 in Austin, TX. He was a loving son, brother, uncle, and great-uncle. He loved his family, the Beatles, Real Madrid, and a good sandwich Cubano con maduros.
Jorge, aka El Cubanito, was born November 8th, 1960 in Havana, Cuba. His parents were Jorge and Adelfa (Tillie) de Armas. In 1961 the family came to the United States as cuban refugees. A few months after arriving in New York City, his sister Maria del Pilar was born. Jorge, Adelfa, and Jorge Jr. became US citizens in 1968.
Jorge spent his early childhood in Houston, TX on Tiffany Street, where a group of young, newly arrived Cuban families formed a close knit community. At Tiffany Street’s “Little Cuba” Jorge made life-long friends. They all attended James Montgomery Elementary school, celebrated garage birthdays with giant, colorful piñatas, and at Christmas they all took turns playing Mary, Joseph, angels, and shepherds at the annual Tiffany live nativity scene.
Jorge always remembered the years he spent in Madrid, Spain with special fondness. He attended St. Anne’s School, and with his family he went on many, many road trips (“are we there yet?”). They travelled all over Spain, from Cadiz to the Pyrenees, Lisbon to Valencia and everything in between. They visited castles, Roman ruins, the Alhambra, and Santiago de Compostela. Summer vacations were spent in Llafranc, Benidorm, Torremolinos and the island of Menorca.
Jorge returned to the United States as a teen and graduated from Ramsey High School. He was a proud member of the marching band’s drum line. After high school, Jorge attended the Institute of Audio research in New York City and earned a diploma in Audio Recording and Production in 1986. He worked at Water Front Recording Studios in Hoboken and hung out with fellow musicians and cousins Nelson and Joseph Pla.
In 1988 Jorge moved back to Texas and was active in the Austin music scene for more than 30 years. He was a talented percussionist and his specialty was the cajon. He played with many local Austin bands and was well known for his passion, positive attitude and hard work ethic. Here are some of the things said about Jorge by his fellow musicians: “Chances are if you ever gigged in South Austin you either shared a bill or a stage with Jorge . . . He was one of the best around and was kind and generous with his talents and his time. I’m lucky to have gigged with him.” And, “Jorge was a positive, shining light that represented all that was good, kind and genuine about the Austin music scene.”
The Tim Curry Trio (2009 – 2014) was his most beloved and successful musical group. It consisted of Timothy Curry on vocals, flute, chromatic harmonica, and piano, William Dunlap on vocals, baritone guitar, Melvin Wilborn on tenor sax and Jorge, himself, on cajon, congas and percussion. The group played soul, pop, gospel and jazz.
Jorge is survived by his sister Maria del Pilar and brother-in-law Mark, nephew Matthew and his wife Cari, nephew Jonathan and his fiancee Lauren, and great-nephew Bodhi. Jorge will be laid to rest with to his parents at Remembrance Gardens in Austin, Texas.