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Cuban Jam – Drummer, Percussionist Emilio Valdés



Cuban Drummer Emilio Valdés puts a band together to create some positive energy in the studio. No much talking, no much rehearsing, no much thinking. Just playing. 1,2,3….REC! (Recorded at Infinity Studios, Madrid).

Emilio Valdés: drums; Jorge Pérez: percussion; Alain Pérez: bass; Daniel García: keys; Marcos Collado: guitar.

Drummer Emilio Valdés was born in Havana in 1966 into a musical family. He studied at the Guillermo Tomás Conservatory specializing in drums and percussion under Antonio Cortés, Marcos Varcalser, Guillermo Barreto, José Luis “Changuito” Quintana, and the legendary Enrique Plá. Later he continued his education at the Amadeo Roldán School and the National Arts School. In 1993 Emilio left Cuba and went to Hamburg, Germany where he lived for 11 years. He traveled throughout Europe, working with Fun Factory (MTV-Europe), Radio and Television Orchestra, and Sergio Boré, with whom he recorded Tambores Urbanos. During his stay in Spain, Emilio taught drums and percussion at the Creative Music School (2001-2003). He was also invited to serve in drumming and percussion clinics by the Giovanni Hidalgo 2002), Max Roach (1996), Gregg Bisonette (2002), and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez (2001-2003). He toured extensively with the legendary Lonnie Liston Smith and Craig Handy.

During his five year stay in Madrid he performed with Flamenco artists Chano Dominguez, Perico Sambeat, Diego “El Cigala,” El Niño Jose, Potito, El Piraña, and Vicente Amigo (1997 Grammy Winner- Best New Artist). In Barcelona he accompanied Lalo Shifrin in the Symphony Orchestra. Emilio was a member of The Jerry Gonzalez Band and The Flamenco Pirates (2001), he worked with the Bebo Valdés Quartet and Chucho Valdés tours in (2001-2002), and with Irakere in 1996 and 1997.

Emilio Valdés currently lives in New York City where he teaches percussion. He  performed with the Bebo Valdés Big Band Featuring Diego Cigala, Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Big Band and the Chuchito Valdés Band, which had 2 Grammy Nominations. He was also under the leadership of Héctor Meléndez during his participation with the 9-11 Big Band. He was also a percussionist for the Mark Whitfield Band and the USA Army Tour with Maria Acosta. He is the drummer specialist in the World Music and debuted his first album, “The Sweet Taste of Freedom.”

Latin Jazz Network is a project dedicated to the advancement of Latin jazz and its creators. Since 2000 LJN has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: LATIN JAZZ.

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