Adalberto Alvarez: a gentleman’s musicality in Cuba

Adalberto Alvarez: a gentleman’s musicality in Cuba
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22 November 2023
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Cuba's musical universe dresses up on Wednesday to pay tribute to one of its most faithful exponents, Adalberto Alvarez (1948- 2021), also known as El Caballero del Son (The Gentleman of Son), on his 75th birthday.

The pianist, composer and orchestra director is currently the most covered Cuban “sonero” (player of Cuba son) in Latin music in the last 30 years, deserving such a distinction thanks to his contributions to the genre and a very sui generis style to reflect music.

Owner of a creative virtue, the 2008 National Music Prize winner created the so-called Conjunto Son 14 in Santiago de Cuba in 1978, a group that allowed him to place his name in Havana’s musical panorama and released the album “A Bayamo en coche,” with the support of pianist Frank Fernandez, a year later.

With that group he make songs like Agua que cae del cielo, El Son de la madrugada, La soledad es mala consejera, Son para un sonero, Tal vez vuelvas a llamarme y vamos, or Háblame ahora, very popular.

After his departure from Son 14, Adalberto Alvarez founded the Adalberto Alvarez y su Son orchestra in Camagüey province in 1984, with which he remained in the country’s popularity for nearly 40 years, until he died, due to Covid-19-related complications.

From this prestigious format numerous albums were born, including hits such as Canción para mamá Rosa, El mal de la hipocresía, El son de la madrugada, En casa de Rosa Zayas, Gozando en La Habana, Mamaíta no quiere, Mi linda habanera, Para bailar casino, Reflexiones, Somos el Son de Cuba, Y qué tú quieres que te den, among many others.

Thanks to his virtuosity he won several awards, including the 2003 Cubadisco Special Award, two Latin Grammy Awards and five nominations to that event, in addition to the 2013 Gitana Tropical Award for his contributions to Cuban music and culture, granted by the Provincial Directorate of Culture in Havana.

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