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Yelfris Valdés


Yelfris Valdés is a Cuban artist, composer, and trumpet player. He began studying classical music at the age of 8. He began touring the world as a professional musician at the age of 16. At 25, he graduated with the highest honors from The College of Arts in Havana. During this time, he recorded, performed, and toured with some of Cuba’s most musicians, including The legendary Grammy Award-Winning Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo, Barbarito Torres, Guajiro Mirabal, Amadito Valdes, Roberto Fonseca, and X Alfonso. At the age of 20, he joined one of, if not the longest-running bands performing the Cuban son style, Sierra Maestra.

In the 10 years he spent with the band, he mastered the art of Cuban improvisation, arranging and intricate rhythms from the island, while touring their music in more than 50 countries. In 2010, they were nominated at the Grammy Awards for Best Tropical Album, which included several of Yelfris’ compositions.

In 2014 he moved to London and positioned himself very quickly as one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the capital’s music scene since.

Due to his versatility and improvisation abilities he has been requested to play with big international stars from the likes of Madonna, The Clash and Michael Kiwanuka to multi-Grammy award-winning pianist Chucho Valdés and the last edition of African Express with Damon Albarn, Rokia Traoré UK musicians from Mobo award-winning drummer Moses Boyd and pioneering grime MC Kano to highly lauded producer Quantic, he also recorded on the Yussef Kamaal project with Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Records which went on to become the best-selling jazz album in the UK for generations shining an international light on this new wave of UK jazz musicians.

He has been recording and performing nonstop with different projects such as Carlos Acosta at Royal Opera House, Kano MC, Yussef Kamaal, Yannick Noa, Quantic music, Sugaray Rayford, OUM, Dayme Arocena, Gilles Peterson, Ariwo, Ana Tijoux, Charlie Hunter, Afrocubism, Cubafrobeat, Moses Boyd, Yussef Dayes, Dele Sosimi and his Afrobeat Orchestra.

In 2018 Yelfris released his first Ep called ‘The World Of Eshu Dina, ’ which is a tribute to the Yoruba religion. The musical traditions of Yoruba are incorporated into his work. Yelfris’ Afro-Cuban roots connect him directly with Mother Earth and the Orisha Gods.

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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