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Monday, 15 January 2018
Cuban National Music Award for Jose Luis Cortes, architect of timba
Jose Luis Cortes
The Cuban National Music Award 2017 has been awarded to José Luis Cortés "El Tosco", in recognition of his rich career and contributions to the culture of the island.
The jury, consisted of Digna Guerra, Adalberto Álvarez, César Pedroso, Beatriz Márquez, and Juan Piñera, emphasized the difficulty of the election due to the quality of the work of aspiring musicians to such an important recognition.
Álvarez highlighted the important artistic career of El Tosco, not only as a musician, but also in other facets such as teaching, alluding to the flute and singing academies created by Cortés, whom he described as a 'complete artist'.
Cortes, the founder of NG La Banda (New Generation the band) on learning about the award by phone, said thank you and pointed out this was a recognition of Cuban popular music and its creators and followers.
This, he said, is one more rock to add to the mountain that is popular dance music. "This gesture makes me stronger and more dignified to continue representing the genre, and as long as people love me there will be Tosco for a while longer," he said.
José Luis Cortés is one of the leading figures of popular music on the island, considered an architect of the musical form known as Timba, and with his orchestra, NG La Banda, one of the most visible faces of the salsa boom during the 1990s.
A graduate of the National School of Art specialising in flute, Cortes is also a successful composer, arranger and producer who, before creating his own group, played with Los Van Van, under the leadership of Juan Formell, and Irakere, founded and directed by maestro Chucho Valdés.