San Sebastian, Spain – Pianist Bebo Valdés received the Donostia Award of Jazzaldia, at the 38 edition of San Sebastian Jazz Festival, classified by him as the “best in the world.” Valdés received the award from San Sebastian city mayor Odón Elorza, at the City Hall of the Basque city, with the presence of Spanish flamenco singer Diego el Cigala, with whom Valdés performed in the Festival.
Nearly 85 years old and dressed with an elegant blue suit, Bebo explained that in 1963 he had to “decide between love and art” and chose the first, getting married in Stockholm, where he stayed to live, which is why he lived for more than 30 years in anonymity until Fernando Trueba rescued him. Bebo did not want to miss the chance to praise his son Chucho’s qualities, who he called superior to him concerning musical taste and “absolute ear”, although Chucho only modestly replied that he is nothing but “his follower, his sequel.” Father and son also paid homage to two great figures of Cuban music recently deceased, Compay Segundo and Celia Cruz, whose heritage, they stated, “will remain forever.”
Los Angeles, USA – Hassan Hakmoun’s latest album, The Gift, received the Association for Independent Music (AFIM) Indie Award for Best Contemporary World Music Recording this past Tuesday at the Annual Awards Luncheon in Orlando, Florida.
The Gift (Triloka 85228) teams Moroccan musician Hakmoun with American-born producer Fabian Alsultany. The two have tackled the landmark task of bridging Moroccan Gnawa sounds with Arabic music while maintaining a forward-looking sound. Alsultany recruited over a hundred musicians to fill out the sound with strings as is common in popular Arabic music.
Hollywood, USA – Cuban bass player Israel “Cachao” Lopez has been praised for his musical contributions with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California. The 84-year-old musician is best known as one of the creators of the mambo.
Lopez’s star ceremony was celebrated in front of the King King nightclub on March 14, 2003. Cachao’s star will be the 2,219th star on the reputed Walk of Fame.Attending the ceremony were actors Andy Garcia, who produced and directed a documentary on Lopez in 1993 and Edward James Olmos.
In 1939, Cachao along with his brother, Orestes Lopez, developed the mambo. The popularity of the mambo reached its heights during the 1950s with help from bandleader Damaso Perez Prado.
Since then, Lopez has been the recipient of Grammy Awards and international acclaim.
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