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Osvaldo Chacón

Originally trained as a teacher in Havana, Osvaldo Chacón      began his musical career with some of Cubays top salsa bands, including      Paulito FG and El Medico de la Salsa (with whom he was featured on the CD      Una Aventura Loca). In 1995 he joined Bamboleo as lead male singer (alongside      the charismatic female duo of Haila and Vannia) and was featured on their      seminal CD Te Gusto o te caigo bien (You like me, fancy me), released in 1997      on the American label Ahí-Namá. He also wrote some of the songs      including the title track. The track went on to win Chacón a prize      for “best debut work” in Cuba’s influential annual music industry      awards Cubadisco 98. Chacón was also featured in the performance of      the longest son ever played in the world (as registered in the Guinness Book      of Records, as part of the 1997 line-up of Cuba’s leading popular orchestras      at Havana’s famous Salon Rosado de la Tropical).

In 1997 Chacón came to London to form his own group and rapidly established    himself as a leading exponent in the UK of the new and exciting sound of Cuban    timba, seldom heard live in Great Britain at that time. While developing Chacón    y su Timba. Osvaldo Chacón continued to be in demand as a singer and    solo artist, and has been invited to perform alongside the likes of Adalberto    Santiago, Azuquita, Tito Allen (Fania All Stars) , Roberto Pla, Herman Olivera    and Eddie Palmieri (at Ronnie Scott’s), the great Latin percussionist Giovanni    Hildago (at the Queen Elizabeth Hall), Chick Corea as well as the supreme luminaries    of Latin song Celia Cruz, Oscar d’Leon, Ruben Blades and Alberto “El    Canario”.

Chacón y su Timba includes a line-up of the UK’s foremost Cuban    and Latin musicians, proving a great success with audiences and promoters. The    band has played at a variety of leading Festivals, arts centre and nightclub    venues around the country including a rousing session at the Barbican Centre’s    ¡Cuba Presente! Festival in 2000, the Clerkenwell Festival in 1999, the    World Beat Festival in Morecombe Bay in 2000, Musicport in Whitby in 2001; and    around London at the Millenium Dome, Africa Centre, Cargo, O’Neill’s    Leytonstone, Smollensky’s, Turnmills, with regular invitations to appear    at Momos. Other UK touring dates include Colchester Arts Centre, Bristol Old    Vic, The Jazz and Roots Club at the Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, the Black Bottom    Club, Northampton and Southhill Park Arts Centre.

In early 2001, Chacón went to Havana to record his first solo CD Salsa Afro Cubana with top-ranking Cuban artists, performing all his own compositions and arrangements. The album was released later that year on the UK-based ARC record label and the lead track Mi Vicio (My Vice) was included in the recent MANTECA compilation Salsa Timba, Meanwhile the original music from the album has been inluded in the live sets of Chacón y su Timba. Future plans for the band include a date at the Queen Elizabeth Hall supporting Eddie Palmieri, the Bath Festival, and the proposed release of Chacón’s latest album, again featuring all new material, recently recorded in Havana. His song “Cumbia pa’Colombia” features in the book “The AQA GCSE Anthology of Music” and is use an example of Latin music for students studying for music exams. https://www.timba.com/artists/osvaldo-chacon

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