Artist picture of Bebo Valdés

Bebo Valdés

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Artist's Top Tracks

Sabor a Mí Bebo Valdés 02:13
La Comparsa Paquito D'Rivera, Gerardo Rosales, Gabriel Machado, Carlos "Patato" Valdés 04:55
Son de la Loma Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdés 03:29
La Conga del Dentista Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdés 03:21
La Bella Cubana Bebo Valdes 04:03
Veinte Años Bebo Valdes, Diego el Cigala 04:03
Tres Palabras Bebo Valdés, Chucho Valdés 04:43
Tea For Two Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdés 05:04
Inolvidable Bebo Valdes, Diego el Cigala 03:20
Lagrimas Negras Bebo Valdés, Diego Cigala 05:28

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Ritmando Cha Cha Cha
Mi Desesperación
Si Los Rumberos Me Llaman
Dos Corazónes

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Biography

Bebo Valdés was a Cuban performer, composer, arranger and musical director who pioneered Cuban big band, mambo and batanga music throughout the 1940s and '50s, continuing to write and perform until his death in 2013.

Nicknamed El Caballón, or The Big Horse, Valdés initially found success in Havana nightclubs, playing and arranging many big band shows and working with artists like Mario Bauza and Ernesto Lecuona. As the popularity of Afro-Cuban music continued to grow worldwide, Valdés found himself touring Europe, arranging for Nat King Cole's album 'Cole Español' and teaching the singer how to speak and sing in Spanish for the project.

After falling out with the Cuban government following the Revolution led by Fidel Castro, Valdés fled his homeland and went to Europe, firstly joining the Lecuona Cuban Boys in Spain before settling in Stockholm. After decades of performing locally and remaining out of the spotlight, Valdés, encouraged by his friend, saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, returned to the studio and the duo released 'Bebo Rides Again' in 1994. Valdés's renaissance was complete when he won his first Grammy in 2002 for 'El Arte del Sabor' and won another two during his lifetime. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music in 2011, recognising his services and influence on Latin music.

Alongside his son Chucho, a successful jazz pianist in his own right, Valdés continued to perform until his death from pneumonia at age 94, following a battle with Alzhiemer's disease. A true pioneer, Valdés's legacy continues to live on through Cuban and Latin music.