JESUS ‘AGUAJE’ RAMOS, MANUEL GALBAN,
BARBARITO TORRES, GUAJIRO MIRABAL
Angel Terry, Carlos Calunga, Idania Valdés, Rolando Luna, Filiberto Sánchez, Luis Alemany, Raúl Nacianceno.
1998: Buena Vista Social Club delivers an electrifying performance at Carnegie Hall in New York
2008: Ten years later, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club tours the world showcasing the magical music of Cuba.
Over the course of the 1990s, Buena Vista Social Club®, featuring Ry Cooder, revived a forgotten repertoire (son, bolero, danzón and guajiro) that is now world famous. Today, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club® continues their work. The line-up includes new musicians to take up the Buena Vista baton, such as the incredible singer Carlos Calunga, in addition to veterans such as the great trumpeter Guajiro Mirabal and the laud virtuoso Barbarito Torres. Together with Aguaje Ramos and Manuel Galbán, they have collaborated on many of the subsequent "Buena Vista Social Club Presents" albums and tours over the past ten years.
Guajiro Mirabal’s distinctive trumpet sound and characterful playing has earned him the monicker "The Trumpet of Cuba". His blistering tribute to the son conjuntos of the great Arsenio Rodríguez, ‘Buena Vista Social Club Presents Manuel Guajiro Mirabal’ was nominated for a GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY and its release was met with widespread praise: “Mirabal’s stunning performances recapture the bonhomie and verve that endeared the son montuno style to all within earshot.” (The Wire).
Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos’ trombone has been an integral part of World Circuit’s Cuban recordings for the past decade, and both his playing and bandleading skills have also made him a key feature on various Buena Vista Social Club Presents tours. As musical director for Omara Portuondo and Rubén González he gained attention on the international stage: “he understands how to truly make the trombone sing” (Boston Globe).
Guitarist, pianist and organist Manuel Galbán made his name with seminal 1960s Cuban doo-wop group Los Zafiros, whose classic compilation ‘Bossa Cubana’ is available on World Circuit. With Galbán leading, the band created a distinctly Cuban sound, an eclectic mix of doo-wop, ballads and boleros, soul and samba, tumbas and twists. In recent years he has appeared on a number of albums in the Buena Vista series bringing his unmistakable twang to the mix. His duets album with Ry Cooder ‘Mambo Sinuendo’ won a GRAMMY in 2004.
Barbarito Torres laud provided one of the most unforgettable moments at Carnegie Hall when on his solo in ‘El Cuarto de Tula’ he attacked his instrument so fiercely that Eliades Ochoa is prompted to exclaim: "¡Se volvió loco Barbarito!" (Barbarito has gone mad!). Barbarito was musical director for Celina Gonzalez's Grupo Campoalegre and worked with many of the biggest names in Cuban music as well as international stars such as Oscar de León. He has also played with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and his solo album ‘Havana Café’ featured guest appearances by Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo.
Each of these artists has their own take on the gamut of Cuban music, and they’ve put their individual stamp on son montunos, danzón, cha cha cha, boleros, and Cuban jazz. Having honed their skills over many years their passion for the music has remained undimmed, and this remarkable group of musical giants perform with an exuberance that is as vital as ever.