He was born on November 28, 1843 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His father was French and his mother Puerto Rican. He began his musical studies in San Juan and at age 15 he moved to Paris where he studied in the Music Conservatory under Auber and D'Albert. His studies were interrupted by a brain arrest, which caused him a partial paralysis of his left hand and a hearing deficiency. Back in Puerto Rico he could overcome those problems and after offering several concerts in San Juan moved to the city of Ponce, where he gave piano lessons.
He taught many of his students in the French pianistic style. He stimulated the creative talent of his most famous student, Juan Morel Campos.
Tavarez is considered the Father of the Puerto Rican Danza. He was responsible of giving it the delicate and romantic touch, which made it suitable for the concert salon. His most famous composition and a good example of this is his beautiful danza "Margarita", composed in 1870.
To the Memory of Manuel G. Tavarez, father of the Puerto Rican danza.
Elisa Tavárez Colón