The end of an era is the least you can say about the summer Adiós (farewell) tour of the world-renowned Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. Formed in 1997 through the efforts of Juan de Marcos González and Ry Cooder, this group of talented and diverse Afro-Cuban performers put Cúban music on the map with their boleros and other Caribbean-inspired compositions.
Since many of the members of the Social Club were basically retired when the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club album first started, there have been many changes in term of performers. In the early 2000’s, the group unfortunately lost pianist Rubén González, lead vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer, and bassist Cachaíto López, among many others that joined along on the iconic group’s journey.
But what the Social Club lacks in present number of group members, they make up with the still powerful sounds of their remaining members: vocalist Omara Portuondo, guitarist Eliades Ochoa, trumpet player Guajiro Mirabal, laud player Barbarito Torres and trombonist Jesus Ramos.
During the time of the recording of Social Club’s album, an Oscar-nominated documentary was made in 1999 to give background to each performer, entitled “Buena Vista Social Club”. Recently, The Guardian reported that a sequel for this film (to be titled “Buena Vista Social Club- Adiós”) will begin filming in July and focus on the remaining members’ personal and professional highs and lows since 1999.
The group has upcoming performances everywhere from Slovenia to France to the U.S. where the Social Club will perform at Carnegie Hall. These artists and ambassadors of musical and cultural freedom are going out with a bang and salsa flair to be remembered for generations.
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