Gilberto S. Valdés (Jovellanos, Matanzas, 21 May 1905 – New York City, 12 May 1972) was a Cuban music director and composer who specialised in the afro genre of Cuban popular music. Valdés was one of the first popular bandleaders to introduce African melody, rhythm and traditional themes into his music. His Afro-Cuban compositions first gained attention in 1935, when Rita Montaner, accompanied by the pianist Rafael Betancourt, presented his songs "Bembé", "Baró", "Tambó" y "Sangre africana" in the Teatro Principal de la Comedia.
- Cuban ballet Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid dir. Gilberto Valdés LP Montilla 92:
- Hi Fi in the tropics LP Montilla 94
- Gran Orquesta Típica Nacional LP Puchito SP-114:
- Rezo de santo – Ritmo de santo de la tierra de África en Arará. LP Maype 180
- La música del maestro Gilberto Valdés – Con su orquesta LP Panart 3101
- Encaribe.org biography (Spanish)
- Ned Sublette Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo 2004 1556525168 "Working in a more popular dimension than Roldán or Caturla, Gilberto Valdés probably made more changes in the landscape of Cuban music than they did. On July 25, 1940, he presented a grand work, Tambó in negro mayor, in the Havana Amphitheater. With Gonzalo Roig conducting and Rita Montaner in the featured role, the production featured an all-city rumba group that Valdés had assembled on expeditions to various barrios of Havana, where he canvassed the bars to find the best rumberos in the area."
- "El Concierto Afro-Cubano de Gilberto S. Valdés," 344 Estudios Afrocubanos , 1 (1937), 139-145.
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