"Vivencias en Clave Cubana" is the debut solo album of Cuban cuatro master Kiki Valera, a member of the Familia Valera Miranda, a century-old group and one of the most important purveyors of the Son Cubana. While completely dedicated to the performance of traditional Cuban music, Valera was exposed to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea through cassette tapes while in school and those jazz inspirations elevate the quality of his cuatro solos in subtle and beautiful ways. Joined here by childhood friend, reknowned Cuban vocalist Coco Freeman, Valera and his exciting ensemble pair 12 original songs with beautiful instrumental work in ways that will make you dance, laugh, and possibly shed a tear. Cuba's traditional music has a history of constant evolution from its very beginnings. With "Vivencias en Clave Cubana," Kiki Valera continues in that spirit.
Beyond Salsa Piano is a history and anthology of the role of the piano in the Cuban rhythm section – from its first appearance to the present. In a broader sense, it’s a study of the tumbao – the art of creating music from layers of repeating rhythmic and melodic phrases. Whether these syncopated figures are called tumbaos, guajeos, montunos, riffs or vamps, this Afro-Cuban concept lies at the heart of nearly every popular music genre from salsa to rock , funk, R&B, hiphop and jazz.

While presented as a set of method books, the series doubles as a history course and record collecting guide for listeners, dancers, and players of instruments other than the piano.

Perhaps the most important goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how tumbaos are constructed, their central role in the texture of Latin music of all eras, and the endless possibilities they provide for creative composing and arranging.

Lazarito Valdes y su Bamboleo

Home Base Established Albums Charts PTracks
Habana, Cuba 2001 2 0 0
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Bamboleo Live Galiano
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Timba $16.99 Buy_now
Mi Verdad
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Timba $10.99 Buy_now
Led by pianist extraordinaire Lázaro "Lazarito" Valdés, this modern timba group continues to reach new heights with its blend of dance rhythms, jazz, funk and soul. The addition of lead singer Tania Pantoja has solidified their status as the hottest band in Havana.

Lázaro Valdés Moises Rodríguez was born on February 6, 1965. He comes from a family of musicians, such as his father Lazaro Valdez, Director of Son Jazz, nephew of Oscar Valdes, director of the modern jazz group Diakara, grandson of Oscar Valdes, an also famous Cuban percussionist, and nephew of Vicentico Valdes, a prominent Cuban soloist. He began his professional career at 16 and proceeded to tour extensively with ‘Pachito Alonso’ as a keyboardist and percussionist. With this group he visited Chile, Venezuela, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France.

In February 1995 he decided to establish Bamboleo, with the aim of entering into various genres such as salsa, folkloric afro-cuban music, Latin jazz, boleros and ballads. That same year the group receives the nomination for ‘Revelation Orchestra’ in the annual program ‘My Salsa’ as well as great acceptance in the island’s top music clubs and festivals. Bamboleo, which is the group that brought together all of Lazarito’s musical wants and ideas, quickly rose in popularity both nationally and internationally, highlighted by their extensive touring schedule in the U.S.A., Japan, China, Panama, and throughout Europe. Their third record, "Ya No Hare Falta" has become one of the most popular Cuban music albums of the all time.

Bamboleo has reached new heights with the addition of powerful and sensual singer Tania Pantoja. With her they made a DVD, called “Knockout” with Manolito Simonet, which was sponsored by Bis-Music. As a pianist leader Lazarito Valdés has obtained the status of National Vanguard for 5 consecutive years while the band has made many contributions to the fight against cancer and HIV. In addition they sponsor musical activities for the patients of the Santiago de las Vegas Hospital in Cuba.

BAMBOLEO's current lineup (2008):

Lázaro Moisés Valdés Rodríguez Director, Piano
Tania Ester Pantoja Palmero Cantante
Ronnis Alberto López Salas Cantante
Yosvani Castañeda Valdés Cantante, Violín
Aryam Marcos Varona Hernández Bajo
Alexander Sánchez Muñoz Pailas
Lipsael Jesús Eduardo Jiménez Congas
Juan Alberto Aguilera Noris Batería
Maykel Rojas de Armas Trompeta 1
Maiquel Simón Irarragorri Trompeta 2
Alejandro Sánchez García Saxofón Alto
Carlos Antonio Valdés Machado Saxofón Tenor
Lázaro "Chucho" Jesús Piña Portuondo Productor y Rel. Públicas
Oscar León Contreras Ingeniero de Sonido
Vladimir Delgado Hernández Ingeriero de Sonido
Rolando Pedro Ramos Suárez Productor
Belkis Delia Valdés Rodríguez Representante

Bottom line......these people lay down the grind.   All photos by Lazaro "Chucho" Jesús Piña Portuondo.