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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.[1][2] Valdés was one of the first popular bandleaders to introduce African melody, rhythm and traditional themes into his music.[3] 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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ biography (Spanish)
  2. ^ 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."
  3. ^ "El Concierto Afro-Cubano de Gilberto S. Valdés," 344 Estudios Afrocubanos , 1 (1937), 139-145.