Kiki Valera - Son Cubano


Son cubano is one of the most popular musical styles in Cuba and Kiki Valera is one of its foremost exponents. Over the last century, this style of traditional Cuban music has contributed to many other genres of music including jazz, cha cha cha, mambo, salsa, songo and timba. Cuban sonis the music that made the Buena Vista Social Club worldwide stars in the late 1990s.


Kiki Valera comes from a family of Cuban musicians whose involvement with Cuban sonpre-dates the Buena Vista Social Club. Since the 19thcentury, La Familia Valera Miranda has played a significant role in Cuban culture by collecting and preserving the deep-rooted traditions of the legendary Sierra Maestra mountain region. La Familia Valera Miranda released their debut album in 1982, which helped initiate the explosion of interest in traditional Cuban music. 


Kiki Valera is the oldest son of the famous La Familia Valera Miranda septet, a multi-generational traditional music group from Santiago de Cuba. Kiki, like most of his family, is a virtuoso. A multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, sound engineer and producer, he’s best known as one of the world’s greatest players of the Cuban cuatro, a mid-size guitar with 8 strings grouped in sets of 2. 


Kiki picked up the Cuban tres under the guidance of his father Felix when he was a child, and later attended one of the most prestigious music schools in Cuba, the Conservatorio Esteban Salas in Santiago de Cuba. By age 15, he was touring internationally.


During his years as an electronic engineering student, Kiki co-founded the Cuban group Septeto Turquino. In the early 90s, he played cuatro & keyboards in the popular orchestra Los Karachi. By the mid-90s, Kiki was busy recording and touring with La Familia Valera Miranda across Europe and the rest of the world.


Kiki continues to direct, compose, arrange and perform internationally. He also performs and teaches in Seattle, Washington where he contributes to the vibrant music scene in the Pacific Northwest with a variety of ensembles. His current project features several other internationally acclaimed recording artists including Coco Freeman on lead vocals and Alexis Baró on trumpet.







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