Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

(b 6 February 1954, Havana, Cuba) Experimental salsa violinist; also composes, arranges and produces. Studied classical violin in Havana; scholarship '64 to study in Warsaw; relocated to NYC '65, there got another scholarship to Juilliard; rediscovered his Cuban musical roots after meeting Cuban charanga bandleader José Fajardo: joined Fajardo's charanga '66 for six years, then to Eddie Palmieri's band, Tipica 73 and Tito Puente's Latin Ensemble. He also sessioned/played on the NYC Latin scene with Louie Ramirez, Israel 'Cachao' Lopez, Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino, Libre, Tipica Ideal, Orquesta Broadway, Larry Harlow, Monguito, Roberto Torres and Papaito. Solo LPs incl. Alfredo '79 (m‚lange of styles incl. jazz--classical fusion 'My Favorite Things'); Para Africa Con Amor-Alfredo de la Fé y su Charanga Afro-Cubana '79 (his finest solo effort to date) on Ivory Coast's Sacodis label; Triunfo '82 on Toboga, a basic charanga set co-produced by Roberto Torres. Additionally, he produced, contributed songs, arrangements and performed on the notable La Charanga 1980: Orchestra Rytmo Africa-Cubana Vol. 1 '79 on TKIOS Musique; played with Puente's Latin Percussion Jazz Ensemble Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1980 on Latin Percussion Ventures Inc., appeared in London with Puente's Latin Septet '81. He emigrated to Medellin in the mid-1980s: LP Made In Colombia '85 on Mercurio, then Vallenato '86, embracing Colombia's popular accordion-based vallenata style. Sessioned with the Latin Brothers on Fuentes; own debut on Fuentes: Salsa! '89 (released in UK on Mango '90), highlighted his use of electronic gadgetry, which he termed 'Techno-salsa'; this was followed by 16 Grandes Sucesos de Cuba (UK title: Cuba's Greatest Hits), Salsa y Charanga, Sentir de Cuba Vol. 2, Con Toda La Salsa, La Salsa de Los Dios '90-5, all on Fuentes.