Remembered best for his work with fellow Cuban musicians Enrique Jorrin and Arsenio Rodriguez, this jazz and Latin-genre pianist also performed and recorded with such acclaimed music groups as the Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.
He studied to be a doctor, but ultimately abandoned medicine in favor of a career in music. His first recording (with Arsenio Rodriguez) was released in 1943.
He recorded his 1996 solo album, Introducing...Rubén González, in less than forty-eight hours.
He grew up in Santa Clara and Cienfuegos, Cuba. He died in Havana at the age of eighty-four.
In the mid 1990s, he began a late-career musical collaboration with American guitarist Ry Cooder.