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Posts Tagged ‘Buena Vista Social Club’

Died On This Date (July 17, 2011) Gil Bernal / Respected L.A. Jazz Musician

Posted by themusicsover on July 17, 2011

Gil Bernal
February 4, 1931 – July 17, 2011

Gil Bernal was an esteemed jazz saxophonist and vocalist who, over a career that spanned some 60 years, became one of L.A.’s most in-demand session player, and played with a laundry list of the world’s greatest jazz musicians.  Born in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Bernal grew up with future jazz greats Big Jay McNeely and Charles Mingus.  He learned to play the sax as a youngster, and by the time he was in high school, he was playing local neighborhood parties and dances.  And not long after graduating high school, Bernal was touring as part of Lionel Hampton’s band which at the time, included Little Jimmy Scott and Quincy Jones.  He went on to form his own band which included Shelley Mann and Shorty Rogers. As an in-demand session player, Bernal played some of the most iconic sax solos on records by the likes of the Coasters, Ray Charles, Big Mama Thornton, and Duane Eddy.  He also played in Spike Jones’ band for several years.  And if that weren’t enough, Bernal could hold his own as a soulful singer as well.  In 1967, his “The Eyes Of Love,” from the film Banning, was nominated for an Academy Award.  And many of his other records, like “Can You Love A Poor Boy” and “To Make A Big Man Cry” are highly coveted by fans of Northern Soul. In recent years, Bernal was hand-picked by Ry Cooder to work with the Buena Vista Social Club as well as on Cooder’s 2005 release, Chavez Ravine.  On July 17, 2011, Gil Bernal died of congestive heart failure.  He was 80.



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Died On This Date (July 7, 2011) Manuel Galban / Buena Vista Social Club

Posted by themusicsover on July 7, 2011

Manuel Galban
January 14, 1931 – July 7, 2011

Photo by Susan Titelman

Manuel Galban was a Grammy winning musician and arranger who is perhaps best remembered for his work with Ry Cooder, Las Zafiros, and as a member of the popular Latin collective, Buena Vista Social Club.  Born and raised in Cuba, Galban was still just a child when he began playing guitar in local bands, and when he was 14, he was hired on by Orchestra Villa Blanca for his first professional job.  In 1963, he joined the immensely popular group, Las Zafiros, with whom he played for the better part of the next decade.  Galban went on to perform with Cuba’s national music ensemble and then Grupo Batey for over 20 years.  During the late ’90s, his talents reached an international audience when he performed as part of the Buena Vista Social Club ensemble in Wim Wenders‘ critically acclaimed documentary of the same name.  That led to a partnership with Cooder who also participated in the film.  In 2001, Galban and Cooder released Mambo Sinuendo which earned the pair a Grammy.   Manuel Galban died of cardiac arrest on July 7, 2011.  He was 80.

Thanks to Benjie Gordon for the assist

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Mambo Sinuendo - Manuel Galban & Ry Cooder


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Died On This Date (February 9, 2009) Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez / Buena Vista Social Club

Posted by themusicsover on February 9, 2010

Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez
February 2, 1933 – February 9, 2009

cachaito-lopezThe Cuban born Cachaito Lopez was a highly regarded bassist who is best remembered for his work with the Buena Vista Social Club during the late ’90s.  He was featured in Wim Wenders’ award-winning 1999 documentary about the group.   Lopez was considered one of Cuba’s greatest bassists and had a career that spanned some 60 years.  In 2001, he released his only solo album, Cachaito.  Cachaito Lopez passed away due to complications from prostate surgery on February 9, 2009.  He was 76 years old.

What You Should Own

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Cachaito - Orlando

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