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Oscar Valdés, great virtuoso of the Cuban music, dies at 85

Havana, Oct 19 (Prensa Latina) The musical universe in Cuba mourns the passing of the remarkable Cuban percussionist and vocalist Oscar Valdés at the age of 85, as announced by the Cuban Institute of Music (ICM).

Native of Havana, the outstanding Oscar Valdés was born on November 12, 1937, in a family of great musicians including his father Oscar (percussionist), his uncles Marcelino (percussionist), as well as Alfredo and Vicentico Valdés (singers).

His musical bent started off in 1949 showing great talent he mastered thanks to important teacher who taught him the way of the batá sounds, abakuá drums, batá and the chekeres.

Defender of the Timbal, instrument he mastered at the Alejandro García Caturla Music School, Oscar Valdés joined the Rebel Army Group and Choir, at the same time he gave prestige with his virtuosity to orchestras CMQ, ICRT, Benny Moré Band and the Cubana de Música Moderna group.

When popular Irakere band was created in 1972 under the guidance of Chucho Valdés, Oscar Valdes joined as singer and percussionist.

In 1993 Oscar Valdés worked together with his sons Diego (bassist) and Oscarito (drummer), until he founded the Diákara band in 2000.

In 2000, he taught at Universities in France and Argentina, and a year later he toured across Spain and other European countries and Israel, where in addition to working with his group in clubs and festivals, he gave lectures and courses.