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Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes dies in Sweden at age 94
Question of the Day
The father often told an anecdote of how a Cuban regime minder came up to him after the concert and said, “See how well we have shaped your son?”
Valdes‘ career got a late boost in 1994 when he teamed up with saxophone player Paquito D’Rivera to release a CD called “Bebo Rides Again.”
“All musicians want to be famous and I think I’ve recently experienced some of the biggest moments of my life,” Valdes told Svenska Dagbladet.
Nine years later Valdes worked with Spanish singer-songwriter Diego Cigala on “Lagrimas Negras,” a flamenco-jazz fusion style CD that won Best Record of the Year by the New York Times. The experience attracted him to Spain where he settled after leaving Stockholm.
Valdes won five Grammy Award in the categories of Best traditional tropical album and Best Latin jazz albums: two for “El arte del sabor” in 2002, one for “Lagrimas Negras” in 2004 and two for “Bebo de Cuba” in 2006.
Asked how he found the energy to keep performing he said, “What else would I do? Watch TV? No, I’d rather play the piano. I will play until I die.”
Associated Press correspondents Karl Ritter in Stockholm and Sigal Ratner-Arias in New York contributed to this report.
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