Celebrated Cuban composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor, Adalberto Álvarez died on September 1, 2021 of COVID-19 complications. He was known as El Caballero del Son (the gentleman of son).
Adalberto Álvarez founded the Son 14 orchestra in 1978 and his famous ensemble Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, in 1984. Both were essential groups in the history of Cuban popular music.
Although he was born in Havana in 1948, Adalberto Álvarez always considered himself a native of Camagüey, the city where he lived his early years and began his professional career.
Adalberto Álvarez was the author of several songs considered classics in Cuba’s popular repertoire.
He won the National Music Award in 2008, was also the recipient of the Distinction for National Culture and the Félix Varela Order and received the Cubadisco Award on several occasions.
The Cuban Institute of Music and the Ministry of Culture press release said: “With the physical departure of this great creator, Cuban popular music loses one of its most genuine exponents and the dancing public one of its most beloved artists.”
Perhaps the greatest of his contributions to Cuban culture was having fought for the denomination of May 8 as Cuban Son Day, and the first day nationally recognised took place in 2021.
Listen to La Lengua
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Buy Adalberto Alvarez y su Son: Casino…el baile popular CD – 2018 compilation 14 tracks of pure dance music from 6 of the most recent albums by Adalberto Alvarez y su son.