Felix Baloy is one of the original stars of the Buena Vista Social Club and is singer with the irrepressible Afro Cuban All Stars. Rich and rhythmic, sparkling and seductive, his voice marks him as one of Cuba’s very finest soneros.
We are so happy to be welcoming Felix to Cornwall as he and his old mate (and good friend of TP!) Ramon Vallejo embark on a reunion tour, celebrating 20 years of friendship and collaborations and promoting the wonderful new album “El Camino” – 10 original compositions by Vallejo, recorded in Cuba & featuring special guests. It combines several genres within the Latin music spectrum, including Salsa, Bachata, Boleros & Pilon.
Growing up in such a rich musical environment, the fate of Felix Baloy was always going to determined by his voice. Born on November 20, 1944 in Mayari in eastern Cuba, he grew up in a typical Cuban working-class family. In those pre-revolutionary times, formal education was still a privilege of the rich and he instead immersed himself in the musical teachings of those around him.
When filmakers Nick Gold and Ry Cooder headed to Havana to record the Buena Vista Social Club Grammy-winning album, they turned to Juan de Marcos Gonzalez for musical direction. In turn, Gonzalez recruited Baloy to recapture the energy and excitement of the era of great ensembles.
“When I had the opportunity to realise my dream of forming a band spanning several generations to pay tribute to the golden age of Cuban music, I knew that Baloy’s talent and energy were indispensable to that project,” recalls Marcos. “He has a tremendous charisma and incredible talent that never ceases to motivate any audience. He is undoubtedly one of the great figures of modern Cuban music.”
Felix Baloy waited a long time to lead his own ensemble, and in 2004 he achieved that dream with Poquito de Fé, a sparkling debut recorded in Cuba with the All Stars. Immersed in the rich traditions of the son, it was the result of a lifetime dedicated to Cuban music, the realisation of a longed for ambition and the beginning of a new chapter. A brilliant and seductive collection, it revealed him as a magnificent artist in the fullness of his powers, ready to be a star.