The Golden Sticks of Buena Vista Social Club
 
More of Amadito
 
The Cuban popular music flows in the veins of Amadito Valdés(nominate to Grammy 2003), who could find in his own father-of the same name-and Walfredo de los Reyes, two undeniable masters. For more than 40 years, scenes of the entire world know about his unique style and personal charm. Essentially “timbalero”, drummer of fiber, in deed Amadito Valdés worked in several important Cuban orchestras, though his trace for almost 30 years set the rhythm for the quartet “Las D’Aida”, one of the most important female choral groups of the Latin world.

Beginning with 1997 he takes part of what up to date is known as the project “Buena Vista Social Club” – in allusion to the same named record, that merit the Grammy Award (1998)-, also in particular of the Afro Cuban All Stars orchestra and the group of the well known piano player Rubén Gonzalez.

Together with other stars of this international popular phenomenon he has acted in the most expensive show business plazas of the planet and now a days, since 2002, after the throwing in the world market of “Bajando Gervasio” (nominate to Grammy 2003), first record that leads as a soloist, he is now developing his artistic project, that conforms, besides recordings and presentations, an unpublished book, a sui generis clinic, a plastic arts exposition and other interesting musical actions.

Amadito Valdés (nominate to Grammy 2003) is mentioned in the “Jazz Latino dictionary of Nat Chediak, he has been invited as “special guest” twice to the Grammy Awards ceremony (1998 and 2000) and takes part on the selected group “Artist Series” (endorsee senior) of the well known musical instruments maker German Enterprise “MEINL”, which in recent days launched to the market the “Amadito Valdés´s Model Timbal”, and so this musician becomes one of the few that shares such and honor in the world.

His international image exposed by the documental filmBuena Vista Social Club”, made by the German film maker Wim Wenders; has made him been known in the means as “the most seen timbalero” after the legendary Tito Puente.

Among his most recent presentations, Amadito Valdés, as a partner in a stars crew of “Buena Vista Social Club”, acted in Mexico D.F. in the prestigious sceneries “Auditorio Nacional” and “Plaza de los Mártires de la Revolución”, the days 22nd of May and 2nd of June respectively in 2002.

These events constituted a full success in the public and the critics, which emphasized that, after several years, main figures of the mythical phenomenon gathered together again. Especially the concert at the “Auditorio” was so memorable that reached one of the renowned “Lunaawards in its category, traditional tropical music, that conceded that prestigious Mexican cultural institution in the autumn of 2002.

Just in that opportunity, the master imparted his clinic ¡Suena el “Timbal” Amadito! on June 3 of 2002 sponsored by “Gonher”, distributing agency there in Mexico of the “Amadito Valdés´s Timbal” model, of MEINL – with a formidable commercialization up to date- been also endorsee senior of it. The masterly class took place in the first floor of the RJD gallery of the Mexican capital and constituted the debut of the new program ¡Suena el “Timbal” Amadito! (“Beat the timbal Amadito”), with a review of ten different rhythms of popular Cuban music.

Also in the year of 2002, and as part of the international promotion of “Bajando Gervasio” (nominate to Grammy 2003), Amadito Valdés played from the 4th to the 7th of July in the famous club “Motion Blue” of Yokohama city, constituting this a real success enhanced by the Nippon means.

In February of 2003, and as a request of the Mexican public, the figures of “Buena Vista Social Club” come back to the prestigious “Auditorio” of the Mexican capital and Amadito Valdés was again one of the invited stars. In that occasion he received the pleasant surprise of been congratulate by the “Café Flor de Azalea”, establishment who decided to install permanently a table in homage of this Cuban “timbalero”.

In July of this year (2003) Amadito Valdés was invited to put his art in a “boleros” record, “Aun te Quiero”, of the Spanish singer, living in Brazil, Monserrat, recorder in Havana, that will be soon presented in the market and that foresees a concert in Sao Paulo the next year. Besides the host, he shared the experience with Cuban artists of the stature of Jesús “Chucho” Valdés, César Portillo de la Luz, Pablo Milanes and Pio Leyva among others.

In the month of September 2003, Amadito Valdés took part in the recording of what is going to be the next Omara Portuondo´s CD. This sessions took place in the EGREM Studios (in Havana), and were sponsored by World Circuit record company, that gathers Cuban and Brazilian musical talents, among these the famous guitar player Swamy Jr. and the relevant producer Ale Siqueira, having this last one just received a “Latin Grammy” for his record "Tribalistas".

Also in September 2003, an exclusive photograph of Amadito Valdés (nominate to Grammy 2003) was esposed in the gallery of the "SGAE", in the "Lonja del Comercio de La Habana", together with other photographs of outstanding Cuban artist smokers of Havanos, in a personal expositions of the photographer Alberto Arcos.

Bajando Gervasio…..towards the top of “timbal”.

The personal recording of Amadito Valdés, “Bajando Gervasio” (nominate to Grammy 2003), is a singular record in many senses; so much that it can convince both experts and neophytes as well, that in the end, the “timbal” inaugurates the perfect melodic harmonic and rhythmic balance with the instrumental universe of the orchestra.

Amadito Valdés exposes his musical philosophy maturation underlined by acute interpreters of his work, such as Ry Cooder, Nick Gold and Wim Wenders, among others of keen emphasis and pondered exaltation that conforms a peculiar percussive poetics.

It comes from the “solo”, that corresponds to his leader condition, up to the solicitous accompaniment of a discreet host in his teaching, committed with the brilliance of a stars group, that conjugates generations that shared the times of the greats of the golden epoch, such as Fabian García up to the times of pushing exponents of the new wave such as Roberto Fonseca.

In this album the Cuban popular music rises to the concert halls without misleading the way of its original nutritional fountains, at the same time in a trip tran generic in coherence and as convincing as imperceptible, just as a high style suit which doesn’t shows the sewing.

The talent of the producer Juan de Marcos González exhibits in this laboring the glories of a zenithal moment.“Bajando Gervasio” (nominate to Grammy 2003) already shows up, over three continents, the Cuban rhythms, that reflexes a Havana now bohemian and sleepless, now noisy and dazzling, classic and modern, always original in the fantasy of its themes.

A Journey Towards the Top of Timbal (Fragment taken from the book Amadito ValdésThe Golden Sticks of Buena Vista Social Club, a personal story in the Cuban music”, of journalist Orlando Matos.

"Bajando Gervasio"(going Down Gervasio Street), First Record Of Amadito Valdés As An Orchestra Leader, Has Been Nominated To Go For The Grammy Awards Of 2003 In The "best Latin Traditional Tropical Album" Category. What In Fact Constitutes An Important Reward For The Cuban "timbalero", Comes To Be Besides, The Confirmation Of The Criterion Of Several Authorized Specialists, Meaning That The C.d. Is, In Deed, Anthological And The Unique Piece Headed By A Percussionist All Around The World And Reveals The Perfect Style Maturation Of This Artist, Been The One Who Will Retake The International Leading Role Of A Genuinely Cuban Instrument .

After his recent nomination to the Grammy Awards 2003 for his first personal record "Bajando Gervasio" the relevant Cuban "timbalero" Amadito Valdés received another well merit acknowledgement for an artistic career that goes for more than four decades.

As a part of the principal activities of the traditional "Percuba Festival" in this 2004 issue, Amadito Valdés received the homage of the percussionist Association of Cuba in a concert that took place on April 23 in the Auditorium theatre "Amadeo Roldán" of Havana and counted among its guests with outstanding musicians such as José Luís Quintana “Changuito”, Enrique Plá and Tata Guines.

In May 2005 after more than 40 years, re-shaping Amadito Valdés Los Chicos del Jazz (Rembert Egues- Fabian Garcia y Carlitos Godinez) in the documentary The Sax Life, a tribute from the filmmakers Spanish Yolanda Garcia and Jose Luis Ruperez to 50 years of artistic life of the famous Cuban musician Paquito D'Rivera, as well as part of this event Los Chicos del Jazz  with Rosa Passos, Chano Dominguez, Brenda Feliciano, Vladimir Cruz and others made in the fall of that year a commented  tour with concerts by different cities across Spain. Also in 2005 the well known American manufacturer of drumsticks Regal Tip set the standard international model to timbales sticks Amadito Valdés, important milestone in the career of Amadito Valdés.

Another remarcable moment in Amadito Valdés´s musical career took place in the night of June 5 of 2005 in the " Amadeo Roldan " theatre of Havana city, where he participed as one of the special guest in the homage concert to Sergio Vitier, celebrating this 40 years of the artistic career of this outstanding musician and composer of the isle.

Amadito Valdés played the timbal together with the National Symphonic Orchestra in a evening that was structured, of course based on the Vitier compositions created for the big format.

Between the 9 and the 13 of May of 2006, Amadito Valdés and its band acted in edition 31 of the Festival of Jazz of Bern, Switzerland, where an excellent welcome of public and critic reached. The concerts were with the musical pieces that integrate the first personal disc of the artist, with that it reached a nomination to the Grammy Prizes of 2003.

The book “Amadito Valdés, The golden sticks of Buena Vista Social Club. A personal history in the cuban music” of journalist Orlando Matos and published by the Mexican publishing house “Aires del Mayab” had his first presentation to the readers the 23 of March of 2006 in City of Mexico.

Later it was presented again the 10 of August in Mérida, city in which is the publishing house that I publish it, like part of a tribute paid by the civilian authorities and cultural from that city to the famous timbalero

The CD Rhythms del Mundo Cuba for humanitarian purposes made by the NGO APE from England got for the first time put together in a sui-generis way to some of the most important figures of Anglo pop and rock (Coldplay, Sting, Artic Monkeys, Dido and Faithless, Maroon 5 - Quincy Jones and others) with renowned Cuban artists including Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Barbarito Torres and Idania Valdes, among others. Amadito Valdés had the pleasure of being part of this record labeled by Universal which released it in 2006.

Live Earth 777 was a mega concert that was televised worldwide, and  took place on July 7, 2007 in order to gain the audience attention on the environment issue, for 24 uninterrupted hours, (due to the dissimilar times in Sydney, Tokyo , Hamburg, London and New York) led to the scene to a group of famous artists from different generations, we talk about Madonna, Enrique Iglesias, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shakira, Snoop Dogg, Roger Cicero and others, on this occasion acted Amadito Valdés in Hamburg (Germany) as guest of the irish-german group Reamonn. In this important event, the prestigious Gibson Guitar Corporation asks Amadito Valdés as other stars of international music (Bianca Jagger, Shakira, Katie Melua, Snoop Dogg, and other Reamonn ) to sign one of their instruments to be auctioned for humanitarian purposes.

From 24 to August 26, 2007 Amadito Valdés played with great acceptance with the group Son de Cuba at the prestigious hall Lig Art Hall in Seoul (Korea). From April to May 2008 he was a special guest to the United Kingdom and Hungary’s tour with Buena Vista Social Club presents Los 4 Fabulosos: Manuel ¨El Guajiro¨ Mirabal, Orlando ´Cachaito´ Lopez, Manuel Galban y Jesus ´Aguaje´ Ramos, also in the summer of this year (2008) he worked with the orchestra Buena Vista Social Club in scenarios of France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Greece, Belgium and Iceland.

In August 31, 2008 in Berlin (Germany), in a memorable concert, Amadito Valdés shared the stage with the musical staff that makes up the album Rhythms del Mundo Cubano Aleman.

In the month of September 2009 took place at the Venice Film Festival, the premiere of the italian cuban documentary "El Oro de Cuba " from the famous Italian director Giuliano Montaldo (Marco Polo- Los intocables- Tiempo de matar) in which Amadito Valdés shares the limelight with important cuban personalities from dissimilar professions.

Another comment about Amadito Valdés and the audiovisual world, is the premiere of the documentary "Amado Amadito". Its director, the talented young filmmaker Julio Recinos, recreates through testimonies and pictures, interesting personal and professional details of Amadito's life. This first screening was framed on AXN Film Sony Pictures Television Festival, which took place on December 10, 2009 in the Mexican city of Mazatlan. In the jury for this event was attended by leading figures of Latin American cinema such as Jose Padilla, Gael Garcia Bernal, Edgar Ramirez, Diego Luna, Cecilia Roth and others.

One of the Amadito´s timbales was included in one exhibition by the Museum of Civilization in Quebec (Canada) from the last June 2010 until March 2011 where they were exposed various articles of important figures in African American music like Benny Goodman, Chuck Berry. Elvis Presley, Miles Davis, Tito Puente and Ray Charles, among others.

The premiere of "Chico y Rita" the latest work of renowned Spanish film director Fernando Trueba was brought to screen in late 2010 with a great success of public and press, this time Amadito Valdés shares the scene with level musicians like Bebo Valdes, Mike Mossman and Jimmy Heath to name a few.

On April 19, 2012 and as one of the attractions that provided the 5th edition of the International Peruvian Cajon Festival that took place in Lima, Amadito Valdés gave a lecture about the timbale's role in some of the most famous genres of Cuban music.

On May 14, 2014 at the Covarrubias Hall of the National Theater of Havana during the Cubadisco Festival, he was given the Award of Honor in recognition of his long career and bears fruit.

On June 7, 2014 under the auspices of Meinl he presented his lecture on the presence of the timpani in some of the genres of Cuban music in the store, "Fernando Giraldez", which specializes in percussion instruments; in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. During his stay in, and sponsored by Meinl and under the direction of German Baratto the documentary "Toca el timbal Amadito" was recorded


Selected  discography

Nueva Vision
Estrellas de Areito
La Fiesta del Timbalero
Bebo Rides Again
Descargando con Peruchin Jr. and the Cuban All Stars
Santiago with The Chieftains
Omara la Novia del Feeling
Havana Night
Introducing Ruben Gonzalez
Deep Rumba 1 y 2
Buena Vista Social Club presents Ibrahim Ferrer
A Cuban Dreams Reunion-The New York Sessions
Vicio Latino II
Distinto, Diferente with Afro Cuban All Stars
Artilleria Pesada with Control Machete
Celina 50 años como una reina
Chanchullo
Buena Vista Social Club presents Omara Portuondo
Motivo Cubano with el grupo Cubismo
Cachaito
Bajando Gervasio
Buenos Hermanos
Llego Teté
Two shoes with The Cat Empire
Flor de Amor
Salsa, Son, Timba
Buena Vista Social Club presents Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal
Rhythms del Mundo Cuba
Rhythms del Mundo Cubano Alemán
Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall
Rhythms del  Mundo Classics
Cruce de caminos
Ni antes ni después
Menos mal
Buena Vista Social Club Lost and Found


  Español  

 

  Portrait of Amadito Valdés painted by the Cuban plastic artist Juan Carlos Centelles, creator that insufflates his work with an exquisite and convincing spirituality.


Fragment of the film "Buena Vista Social Club" courtesy of Wim Wenders





Among his most recent presentations, Amadito Valdés, as a partner in a stars crew of “Buena Vista Social Club”, acted in Mexico D.F.






Amadito Valdésimparted his clinic ¡Suena el “Timbal” Amadito! on June 3 of 2002 sponsored by “Gonher”








Amadito Valdés  received the pleasant surprise of been congratulate by the “Café Flor de Azalea” in Mexico D.F.



¡Suena el timbal Amadito!


The prestigious Cuban “timbaleroAmadito Valdés (nominate to Grammy 2003), renamed by the means as “The Golden Sticks of Buena Vista Social Club” in regard of his successful participation in the internationally recognized musical event, has designed the masterly classes ¡Suena el “Timbal” Amadito!, destined to teach the leading role of the very Cuban instrument (beginning with the personal style of “Master Timbalero”) in various of the most important kinds of the Cuban popular music.


A winning disk.....

"Bajando Gervasio" (nominate to Grammy 2003), Amadito Valdes’s CD in which, in the end, the "timbal" inaugurates the perfect melodic, harmonic and rhythmical balance with the instrumental universe of the orchestra, goes forward successfully in Japan, Spain, Portugal, Puerto Rico and USA , and can also be acquired by means of Internet (in USA: www.descarga.com; in Spain: www.gongdiscos.com and in Japan: www.ahora-tyo.com).

 Lovers of the Cuban traditional music, that without losing its authentic roots brings itself up to date with a fusion that contributes to the multicultural richness, shouldn’t miss this original sessions.


Amadito's Timbale Solo at the "Buena Vista Social Club" film

Dear friends through this link you will see the transcript of Amadito's improvisation in the documentary Buena Vista Social Club, also you can see, by courtesy of our friend Patrick Dalmace, in the web site www.montunocubano.com
 

 
 
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