Jazz pianist Bebo Valdes dead at 94

Celebrated Cuban pianist BEBO VALDES has died in his adopted Sweden, aged 94.

The composer and bandleader, who recorded the album Cole Espanol with with Nat 'King' Cole, was a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Cuban-based jazz band Irakere.

Valdes became a staple at Havana nightclubs in the 1940s, and he helped drive the mambo into the mainstream with his Sabor de Cuba orchestra. He helped orchestrate Cole's groundbreaking 1958 album the year before he left Cuba following Fidel Castro's revolution.

During a European tour in 1963, he met and fell in love with Swede Rose Marie Pehrson, and he settled in Scandinavia.

His son Chucho Valdes is also a famous Cuban musician. Father and son worked together on 2009's Juntos para Siempre.

Valdes won five Grammy Awards.

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