The group was founded on 12 January 1924 in the Barrio Ojo De Agua district of the Cuban city Matanzas. Initially, for political reasons, the band was called Tina Liberal. It was created by Valentin Cane and Pablo Vasquez Gobin. The original lineup also included Manuel Sánchez, Ismael Goberna, Domingo Medina, José Manuel Valera, Julio Gobín, Juan Bautista Llópis, and Eugenio Pérez. Back then, the band wasn’t performing anything distinctive since the musicians didn’t find their unique sound just yet.
In 1927, the band moved to Havana in order to try their luck in the big city. There they met many celebrities and recorded their first songs. Two years later, the band signed a contract with radio El Progreso Cubano (later renamed Radio Progreso), where they performed on a regular basis. The contract was signed in the 1930’s, back when the Cuban radio was becomign very popular. This popularity reflected on the success of the group. The band changed its name to Sonora Matancera and went through some lineup changes. The contract with the radio ended in 1939. It helped the band earn worldwide fame since the show was popular all over the Caribbean Many radio stations were hoping to book Sonora Matancera but not everyone was as lucky as Radio Progreso.
In 1945, a talented singer Bienvenido Granda joined the band. At that time Valentin Cane, the founder of the group, started having respiratory problems, which interfered with his singing.