Friday, July 26, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bebo Valdes

Artist:Bebo Valdes
Song:La Comparasa
Album:Bebo Rides Again

Most Cuban jazz fans probably know Dionisio "Bebo" Valdes as the father of legendary jazz pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdes. But Bebo Valdes was a bandleader in Cuba in the 50s and then left Cuba and lived in Sweden for many years. The 1994 CD Bebo Rides Again was his return to recording after many years. He was born Oct. 9, 1918 in Quivican, Cuba. He started out as a pianist in Havana nightclubs in the 40s. In the 50s, he led one of the house bands at the Tropicana in Havana and was the arranger for singer Rita Montaner. He also backed up Nat King Cole when Cole recorded in Spanish. Like a lot of Cubans, Valdes left during the 1960 revolution and settled in Stockholm, Sweden. He lived there in obscurity for many years until sax player Paquito D'Rivera produced the 1994 CD Bebo Rides Again. When Fernando Trueba was producing the 2000 documentary Calle 54, he decided to reunite Bebo and Chucho Valdes in one of the film segments. After that, Valdes recorded several albums and won a few Grammys including 2010 Best Latin Jazz Album for Bebo y Chucho Valdes: Junto para Siempre. Valdes had five children including Chucho with his first wife. When he moved to Sweden, he married his second wife Rose in 1963 and their marriage lasted until Rose died in 2012. Bebo Valdes suffered from Alzheimer's and died on Mar. 22, 2013 at age 94. It was great that this Cuban music pioneer got a career revival in the 90s. Here's Bebo Valdes and Chucho Valdes performing La Comparasa in the 2000 film Calle 54.

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