1952. Brothers Cesar and Nestor Castillo are musicians playing the local clubs in Havana, Cuba. Cesar convinces Nestor to move to New York City with him, where they hope to revive their music careers playing the downtown clubs. However their goals are different. Outgoing Cesar wants to be among the biggest names in Latin music, names such as Tito Puente or Desi Arnaz. Sensitive Nestor just wants to settle down and open a small club. While Cesar embraces all that America has to offer, including a largely sexual relationship with vivacious cigarette girl Lanna Lake, Nestor pines for his old girlfriend back home, Maria, who married Luis, the owner of the club where he and Cesar worked. Regardless, Nestor believes Maria is still his destiny, writing several version of a love song to her called "Maria of My Soul". Nestor eventually meets Delores Fuentes, who is working toward becoming a teacher, the two who end up marrying. Delores knows about Maria, Delores who may or may not make Nestor forget about his life back in Cuba. Cesar has a few secrets of his own, one in relation to why he was so desperate for Nestor to leave Cuba with him. These secrets could drastically alter what is the loving relationship between the brothers, Cesar who will do anything for Nestor, especially protecting him from the same traps that he did unwittingly fall into back in Cuba.