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Bebo Valdes

Born in October 1918 in Quivican, Cuba, Bebo Valdés played piano from an early age and was very active as a performer, composer, arranger, and musical director at various Havana nightclubs throughout the ‘40s and into the 50s. During these years, he was also playing and arranging for numerous recording dates. Very highly regarded within the Cuban musical world, Valdés worked with many artists, including Mario Bauza and Ernesto Lecuona. With the growth of Afro-Cuban music worldwide, Valdés toured Europe and the U.S. In 1960, unhappy with the new political power in Cuba, Valdés left his homeland, taking up residence in Stockholm, Sweden in 1963.

He continued to compose and play but, despite the fact that his son Chucho Valdés had become an internationally known jazz musician, it wasn’t until the late ‘90s that he was brought back into a recording studio. Encouraged by Paquito D’Rivera, whose father was a friend of Valdés and who was also an associate of Chucho from their time together in Irakere, a session was arranged and took place in Germany. Valdés composed most of the music (much of it written in haste the day before) and played on the session; his performance was remarkably good considering the decades-long layoff from full-time performing. Also on the session with Valdés and D’Rivera were Juan-Pablo Torres (trombone), Diego Urcola (trumpet), Amadito Valdés (percussion), and Carlos Emilio Morales (guitar; ex-Irakere).

That album marked a resurgence for Valdés. His follow-up album was a trio set with Israel "Cachao" Lopez and Carlos "Patato" Valdés, although D’Rivera guested on some tracks. Valdés continued to record into the 2010s. He can be seen in the documentary film, Calle 54 (2000), in which he appears alongside numerous Latin jazz exponents, including his son Chucho, Gato Barbieri, Eliane Elias, Chico O’Farrill, and Tito Puente. The coincidental rise of interest in traditional Cuban music, prompted in part by the Buena Vista Social Club albums, played a role in Valdés’ twilight career success. Nevertheless, it was clear that as a composer he played an important part in the music of Latin America in general, and Afro-Cuban jazz in particular. Bebo Valdés died of pneumonia on 22 March 2013 in Stockholm at the age of 94. ~ Rovi Staff
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Recuerdos De Habana

Disc 1

1. Batanga Bailaras

2. Tre R

3. El Manicero

4. Pierre Damballah

5. A La Machere

6. Al Dizzy

7. Music Box Mambo

8. Anda

9. La Unica

10. La Comparsa

11. Rose Marie

12. Echale Salsita

13. Malafo

14. La Flor De Yumuri

15. Con Poco Coco

Disc 2

1. Bien Explica O

2. Tres Lindas Cubanas

3. Buscando La Melodia

4. Danza Cubana No 1

5. La Caridad And Tu Sonrisa

6. Danza Lucumi

7. Rareza Del Siglo

8. Consuelate Como Yo Guanganco No 13

9. Oleaje

10. Y La Negra Bailaba

11. Tu

12. Felicia

13. A Todo Cuba Le Gusta

14. Interview 1

15. Interview 2

16. Interview 3

17. Interview 4

18. Interview 5

x

Track List: Bebo de Cuba

1. Är Ni Fröken Pehrson? (Suite Cubana)

2. Cachao, Creador del Mambo (Suite Cubana)

3. Devoción (Suite Cubana)

4. El Son de Cecilio (Suite Cubana)

5. Ecuación (Suite Cubana)

6. Copla Nº 4 (Suite Cubana)

7. Nocturno en Batanga (Suite Cubana)

8. Är Ni Fröken Pehrson? Comparsa (Suite Cubana)

9. El Solar de Bebo (El Solar de Bebo)

10. Kabul y Lorenzo (El Solar de Bebo)

11. A Mayra (El Solar de Bebo)

12. El Quintrín (Haciendo Patria) (El Solar de Bebo)

13. La Mula (El Solar de Bebo)

14. Rose Marie (El Solar de Bebo)

15. Iballah (El Solar de Bebo)

16. De Baracutey (El Solar de Bebo)

17. Miriam (El Solar de Bebo)

18. El Guajeo de Rickard (El Solar de Bebo)

x

Track List: Todo Ritmo

1. Cha Cha Cha No. 1

2. El Manisero

3. Mama Ines

4. Masa Limpia

5. Afimaye

6. A Quien Enganes

7. Babalu

8. Cactus Mambo

9. Siempre Cantando

10. Mayajigua

11. Ita Morreal

12. El Cumbanchero

13. Chamizo

14. Siboney

15. Mayari

16. Persian Shah

17. Sasauma

18. Tu Saves Bien Que Te Quiero

19. Wi Wi

20. Habana

21. La Feria De Los Siglos

22. Monsieur Saieh

Comments

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The Sweet Piano work of Old School Cuban Music...Love It
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Muy bueno y Cubano very special
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Excelente, hermoso, Magistral.
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Grande senor bebo valdez fuiestes,ere s y seras siempre mi artista favorito.
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Bebo Valdes -aka- El Caballon, musico de musicos, una gran persona, todo un profesional en su giro, despues de 20 anos, en Suecia, vuelve a resusitar, gracias a Paquito D'Rivera, y a los 70 anos, graba discos, gana grammys, todo un genio musical, tuve la gran dicha de conocerlo y compartir, y ese honor ha sido para mi, una experiencia unica,
Bebo de Cuba !!!
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Listen!!
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Hermosa musica con todo mi corazon
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Bebo Valdes is greatness!
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Nada mas bello que poder deleitarnos con nuestra musica y revivir recuerdos de aquel lejano ayer! ...Gracias por alimentarnos el alma...
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Puerto Rican from Chicago
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Michael music's mi Tierra Miami Othello no hay dos
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Roots. Never forget it. que viva la musica Latina y Latin Jazz
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Orlando Vallejos
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Mientras tengamos tu musica,estar a s con nosotros siempre
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Open your windows and doors and let the world hear soom good honest music--
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Rest in peace
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purohit2
descanse en paz, Bebo
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gatormillie
Piano extraordinai r e !
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Uno de los mejores
de mi patria
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At 15 years old, I was enthralled listening to Tomas and Rafael Mendez, Xavier Cugat and other great Latino-Cuban artists.. Was overjoyed after a fifty year exile of this fine music to rediscover thru Buena Vista Social Club what I had missed.
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jazocar
Elegante y magistral
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thismusicmak e s m e w a n t t o b e i n c u b a !
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Beautiful music. I can not stop listening his album Bebo rides again. One of the best albums ever. Every song is special. Viva Cuba.
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valeriorafae l 5 8 8
excellent,sa n s a t i o n a l , a l l i cansay.!!!
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will it be another Bebo? I DO NOT THINK SO!!!
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I just have to express a true LOVE for AFRICAN CUBAN MUSICA I wouldn't want it any other way
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Swing out!
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There is a lot of good percussion in this piece
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The man is a real Legend .I don't use this word very often. His music is simply beautiful
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Bebo Valdes, Cuba's contribution to the World . I am haitian and i feel so proud to be part of the area . I grew up listening to cuban music . Cuba, a nation of great culture.
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Among the affluent latin jazz artist like Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Bebo is right up there. Great Music
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What can you say!..Shut your mouth and listen. There is nothing to say
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What an artist and musician! He is a genius of a composer and performer, one of the great gifts of Cuba to the world.
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Bebo Valdes one of the greatest. Now, this is music to heal the soul.
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tatencio213
There is also a very touching video of Bebo and Chucho playing a "dueling keyboards" on You tube!! I forget the song...but they are both in black tuxes,playin g on black grand pianos!! Que rico los dos y La musica de ellos tambien!!
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tatencio213
Bebo Yes!! I DJ at a radio station and the new CD of Bebo de Cuba came in and I cannot stop playing it and listening... e t c , etc! Every time I play say...El Son de Cecilio I get a ton of calls asking who I just played!!
Outstanding! ! There is a documentary video out of Bebo.. but I have yet to get my hands on a copy of it yet!!!! Pero Que Viva!! Bebo Valdes!!
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I recently had the opportunity to go see his son Chucho Valdez n Chicago and he is also absolutely phenomenal. His father, though, is a genius!! I love his music, so beautiful and powerful!!
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uscalumni03
i recently discovered bebo valdes and now i can't get enough! i wish i was alive in the 50's
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pamap02
WOW. Just WOW. I'm now a fan of Afro-Cuban music, Latin jazz, this AMAZING musician! Beautiful music!
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This is sweet and make me feel like dancing.
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in reality cuba has produce the best musician in the world when it come to "our latin thing" afro cuban, songo cha cha mambo y claro la charanga.
borikuba
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erivera443
outstanding
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Bebo Valdes just doesn't play Latin Jazz he feels it and has the magic to play it right which brings a smile to my face an soul. Great music
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jjviowil
Latin Jazz at it's BEST! Thank You Mr. Valdes!
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BEBO es cosa seria... y un gigante en el piano.
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GREAT MUSICIAN,GRE A T MUSIC.....BE B O VALDES
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great music .......what else is there to say
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QUE RICURA DIOS MIO ESO ES CUBITA LA BELLA...
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This music from that era is the best Cuba produced.
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valentinamor a l e s
Makes me feel alive, very alive.
Show more

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