For over three decades, Barbarito Torres has been one of the strongest musicians to arise from the Cuban guajiro tradition. Playing the laoud, or Cuban lute, he has played with a variety of ensembles both in Havana and the Cuban countryside.
He settled in Havana and became a permanent member of Orquesta Cubana de Cuerdas. He also began to do session and backup work and was featured with some of Cuba's most prominent musicians, including Albita, Sierra Maestra, and Elio Reve.
In 1992 he began to build his own projects, forming his own group, Piquete Cubano. Perhaps the greatest advancement to his career, however, was his contribution to another two ensembles, the Afro Cuban All Stars and the Buena Vista Social Club. Their self-titled debut albums received worldwide attention and helped spur a revival in Cuban music. Both ensembles won a number of awards, including a Grammy for the Buena Vista Social Club album in 1998. In 2000, Torres released a solo album, Havana Cafe, which featured a number of the players that had been featured in his previous ensembles, including Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, and Luis "Guajiro" Mirabal.