Bebo (Ramón Emilio) Valdés (b. 1918, Quivicán - d. 2013, Stockholm): A pianist, composer and arranger, and the winner of five Grammy Awards since 2002, Valdés was an important figure of the Havana musical scene of the 1940s and ’50s, leading orchestras, including Sabor de Cuba, and backing singers such as Benny More, Pío Leyva and Rita Montaner. Valdés often performed in the legendary nightclub Tropicana where, for a time, he was musical director. He also recorded with Nat King Cole and was instrumental in the Cuban jazz scene. Valdés left Cuba in 1960, eventually settling in Stockholm, where he continued playing Cuban music and jazz. After more than 30 years out of the recording studios, his career was revived in 1994 with the release of the CD Bebo Rides Again and his participation in film Calle 54, directed by Fernando Trueba. His Grammy-winning CDs are El arte del sabor, Lágrimas negras and Bebo de Cuba, all released since 2002. Among his many compositions are Daquirí, Nocturno en batanga, and Ritmando el chachachá. He lives in Malaga, Spain. (Lifetime Achievement Award in music, 2006)

 

Back to top