The Buena Vista Social Club’s “Adiós Tour”


Nowadays, the Buena Vista Social Club orchestra appears Monday through Friday at Hotel Meliá Cohiba’s Habana Café in Havana, Cuba; but the orchestra begins a farewell world tour starting on June 25, 2014, in Prague, under the title “Adiós Tour.” Among the concerts by the group, two are anticipated next November at Havana’s Karl Marx Theatre in Havana. The world tour will reach stages in Greece, the United States, Latin America, Spain, Czechoslovakia and Asia and is expected to end on April 5, 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. “Adiós Tour” is a special show that includes all the great hits of the Buena Vista Social Club. Omara Portuondo, Eliades  Ochoa, Barbarito Torres, El Guajiro Mirabal, almost all the founders of the project will be present.”

In 1996 a musical phenomenon known as the Buena Vista Social Club came to light. Founded by musical director Jesús Ramos (Aguaje), it has included important artists such as Eliades Ochoa, Manuel Mirabal (El Guajiro Mirabal), Rubén González, Cachaíto López, Puntillita, El Pío, Ibrahim Ferrer, Barbarito Torres, Compay Segundo, singers Omara Portuondo and Idania Valdés, and percussionist Amadito Valdés.

That group of artists has appeared on the word’s most significant stages and has taken Cuban music to important festivals at the most obscure places. France, Germany and the United Kingdom have been the main consumers of this unique cultural proposal and numerous Grammy Awards endorse the work of this group.

The ensemble owes its name to a danzón by Coralia López, sister of Cachaíto, [which] was recorded by pianist Rubén González. The Buena Vista Social Club emerged as an original idea of U.S. musical producer Ry Cooder.

Also intervening in the realization of this project was musician and producer Juan de Marcos González, who joined World Circuit in 1994. Through the initiative of Nick Gold, the first great success of the Buena Vista Social Club was recorded. The phonograph A toda Cuba le gusta (All Cuba Likes It) was nominated for the Grammy in 1998, but without doubt the greatest success of the group came about after German film director Wim Wenders presented the documentary Buena Vista Social Club.

[. . .[ Trumpet-player Guajiro Mirabal remembered how this megaproject gave them the possibility of knowing many countries in Europe, South America and South Africa, as well as to travel to the United States. Omara Portuondo, the diva of the Buena Vista Social Club, added: “we are corroborating that Cuban culture is universal, regardless of the language.”

Jesús Ramos (Aguaje) feels a great pride for being one of the founders of this project, with which he was able to realize himself musically and share the stage with all the great Cuban musicians that he admired since he was a child. “This farewell hurts me in my soul,” the trombone-player and musical director of the group admitted.  Barbarito Torres, who was a young musician when he entered the Buena Vista Social Club, has similar feelings. Today, he is a virtuoso of the lute, internationally recognized thanks to that valuable project, as he himself calls it. [. . .]

Listen to ” Chan Chan” here: 

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