Buena Vista Social Club's Barbarito Torres

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Wednesday September 25, 2013

From Nuvo

Buena Vista Social Club’s Barbarito Torres
By Kyle Long

I can’t think of a contemporary band that could convincingly carry on after losing three of its most talented members. But legendary Cuban supergroup Buena Vista Social Club have done exactly that and seem to be doing so with ease. The prodigious skills and larger-than-life personalities of Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Rubén González helped to define Buena Vista Social Club’s image and sound. After the trio’s passing in the mid-2000s the group called on its deep reserves of talent and reformed as a touring unit under the name Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.

The current 15-member lineup features four important artists from the original Buena Vista roster.

Omara Portuonda is known as the grand old lady of Cuban music. While her early recordings made her a star in Cuba, her participation in the the Buena Vista Social Club project brought her to international attention and established her reputation as one of Cuba’s greatest musical ambassadors.

Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal’s distinctive musicianship have earned him the title as “the trumpet of Cuba.” Throughout the ’40s and ’50s Mirabal played in many of Cuba’s most popular bands, but didn’t make his solo recording debut until 2004 at age 71. The self-titled album is a brilliant tribute to Cuban music icon Arsenio Rodriguez.

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