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Adalberto Álvarez y su Son
Like Los Van Van, Adalberto Álvarez was a major figure in Cuban popular music long before Timba began, writing dozens of songs which were hits for his own groups, Son 14 and Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, and for many other artists such as Rumbavana as well, both inside and outside of Cuba. He is by all accounts one of the most important and influential figures in the history of Cuban music.
We have an extensive History and Discography of Adalberto Alvarez page which recounts his career. Adalberto is represented by Musicalia, which maintains an excellent website, containing lots of great information on Adalberto, and also on several other bands, such as Orquesta Revé.
When Timba began in the 90's, Los Van Van embraced it, quickly becoming one of the leading Timba bands. Like LVV, Adalberto was also able to retain his status as one of the most popular acts in Cuba, but he did so by staying much closer to his original son style. Nevertheless, his recent music has moved closer to Timba in many ways. He has collaborated with many key creative figures of the Timba movement, such as arranger Joaquín Betancourt, known for his work with Issac Delgado and many others, Roberto Linares, ex-pianist/arranger for Azúcar Negra, Yoel Cuesta, ex-conguero of Azúcar Negra, Aramís Galindo, who sang with Team Cuba and on Gracias Formell, and now has his own band.
Click here for excerpts from two of his greatest songs of the 90's, both from his most timba-oriented album Jugando con candela. [Kevin Moore]