Mayra Caridad Valdés, the Queen of Jazz

 From a very young age, she developed singing skills, and she was discovered by the American musician Harry Belafonte.

She has been remembered by many since 1980, when she reached third place in the popular television program “Todo el mundo canta”, with jazz, a genre that always accompanied her throughout her musical career.

 Graduated in 1975 from Choral Music at the National School of Art, Mayra Caridad Valdés begins to be internationally recognized in Japan and Europe, as a soloist accompanying various groups, including Irakere, directed by her brother Chucho Valdés.

At the beginning of the 90’s, she became the voice of the Tropicana cabaret, participating in most of its tours, until in 1994 she stayed permanently in Irakere as part of the band.

She debuted as a soloist with the album La Diosa del Mar, in 2002, in which she was accompanied by the Irakere musicians, and which was nominated for best Latin jazz album and recording.

The second phonogram was Obatalá, I’m Here, produced and directed by Chucho, but she does not abandon boleros such as: “Alma mía”, by Benny More; “Ayer”, by Ñico Rojas, or “How a miracle”, by Juanito Márquez, that demonstrate her authentic Cuban feeling.

One of her last presentations was in the 13th Havana Biennial, together with her nephew Cucurucho Valdés.

This exceptional singer died on November 10, last 2019, as a result of kidney problems, at the age of 63, leaving a gap in the Cuban music.

Translated by Susel Esquivel

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