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Rickard Valdés

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Biography

Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden ...

Halfcuban and halfswedish ...

The youngest member of the Valdés family, son of the legendary 9-times grammy winner pianist/composer/arranger Bebo Valdés, and brother of the just as great pianist/composer/arranger Chucho Valdés(8-times grammy winner), leader and creator of the legendary Cuban band Irakere. His sister is one Cuba's best jazzsingers: Mayra Caridad Valdés, and his nephew: Roberto Carlos "El Cucuruchu" Valdés plays the piano with the world's greatest salsaband: Los Van Van. He is a member of a musical family-dynasty that spans 4 generations and counting...

He was born with music all around him and started playing (trap)drums when he was around 7 years old and continued throughout his school years but stopped playing when he was around 16 yrs old. Then he stopped playing for about 12 years, only to pick it up again and start once again, but this time with percussion as his main instrument. After a couple of years of study he started working locally as percussionist and after a couple of years or so he began working with his father, both recording albums and touring ...

He has performed on albums that has won "3 grammys," the critically acclaimed albums of Bebo & El Cigala, "Lagrimas Negras" ( with the flamencosinger "El Cigala",) which has sold triple platinum in Spain and also has sold platinum and gold in many other countries in Central & SouthAmerica and Bebo Valdés, "Bebo de Cuba"...

He has performed at the Latin Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles, sept. 2004 with Bebo & El Cigala also featuring the legendary Paquito D'Rivera and the master Alex Acuña, and at the prestigous Olympia in Paris several times. He has played at most of the major festivals in Europe ...

He has toured extensively internationally since 1998 and has had the honor of playing or recording with such great international artist and musicians such as:

Paquito D'Rivera, Diego "El Cigala", the late Patato Valdés, Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana, Giovanni Hidalgo, the late Tata Güines, Bebo & Chucho Valdés, Carlhiños Brown, Alex Acuña, Andy Gonzalez, Dafnis Prieto, the late Juan Pablo Torres, Milton Cardona, Joe Gonzales, Jerry Gonzales, Fransisco Aguabella,Jimmy Delgado, Luis Bonilla, Ray Vega, Papo Vasquez, Eric Figueroa, Arturo O'Farill, Diego Urcola, Pablo Calogero, Michael Mossman, Steve Berrios, Raul Agraz, John Benitez, Mario Rivera, Hector Lopez, Javier Colina, Israel "El Pirañha" Suarez, Sabu Suarez, Octavio Kotan, Edgardo Miranda, John Walsh, Douglas Purviance, Bob Francheschini, Eladio Reinon, Matthew Simon and Norman Houge and many more great musicians...

And he has also had the honour of having Alicia Keys coming up to the stage to do a couple of tunes together during the tour with Bebo & Cigala ...

He has been Bebo Valdés recording and tour percussionist since 1997 ...
He is one of the founding members of the Swedish Timba-sensation group Calle Real ...
He is an Official endorseé of Meinl Percussions ...
He is a member of Richard Ortega y La Jugada ...
He is a member of Lily Hernandez y La Sonora Clasica ...

And in Sweden he has worked with artists like: Calle Real, The Ark, Hoffmaestro, Charlotte Perelli, Darin, Sarah Dawn Finer, MoneyBrother, Daniel Lindström, Salem Al Fakir, Latin Kings, Pauline, Stephen Simmonds, Carl-Johan Vallgren, SUMO, Thomas Gylling and Mosquito crew, Melo, Rasmus Faber, Cotton Club, Minaya amongst others...

In 2000 he became a member of a tradicional Son-group that was called Los Magnificos, the band changed the name in 2001 to Calle Real, due to the fact that the band had grown in popularity and also changed the style of music to a more modern version of contemporary cuban salsa called Timba. Both changes were very much promted and initiated by Rickard Valdés, mainly as a way to do something different from what he had been doing with his father. It was also something that was very close to his heart, as it was Timba that got him into appreciate salsa and latinmusic. Also, as he was being the only one who liked timba initially in the band, it became something of his petproject to intoduce it into the band ...

In 2003 the band went to Cuba with a famous Swedish rapper, Dogge Doggelito(Latin Kings) to perform at the Beny Moré festival in Cienfuegos an Santa Isabel de Las Lajas(the birth town of Beny Moré) and they were received with astonishment at that a group that weren't from the Island could play their music with the right nuances and the right feeling.
In 2004 Rickard got a call from the rapper Dogge Doggelito to ask if he could together with his father play on one track play for the Latin Kings last album Omerta(one of the most famous hiphop groups in Scandinavia and the first pioneers in Swedish rap.), and as a result directly after that, Salla from The Latin Kings offered Calle Real to record their album at the Studio of the HipHop-label RedLine in Norsborg. They also started their own label (Calle Real Records HB). In late 2005 was the album finished and was released in march through EMI in Sweden, and in Europe through Galileo MC, and in the U.S and Puerto Rico through Pimienta Record ...

The debut album "Con Fuerza" have won the french timbawebsite www.fiesta.net best album of the year 06 award as well as best newcomer of the year 06 award, and have been praised by the latin and timba websites www.descarga.com and www.timba.com just to name a few.
And among other praisings, the band receieved a pre-round nomination to the prestigious Latin Grammy Awards in nov 06. The first european band ever to be granted such honour!!!

They have also had 2 of the songs that are on the album released on a compilation album, "La Noche Cubana,Vol 23" through the label Ala Bianca. They also have a old song "Hoah" that's not on their album that has been released by the label Putumayo, "Putumayo Baila Latin Party". Check their websites for more details. They have also been on top playinglists(from 1st to 5th place)of the Salsa Dj's of Europe...

So far "Con Fuerza" been released in the USA, Puerto Rico, Spain and Germany and they are working on getting it released in the rest of Europe, Asia and Latinamerica ...

They have also been through Rickard, the house band of the talkshow "Stina" of Stina Dabrowski Lundberg. Who is one of Swedens most famous and prestigous journalist. She have made interviews with Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Madonna, Arafat, Khadaffi, Hilary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger just to name a few.
Where they composed the theme of the the program and played with many of the major popstars of Sweden ...

The second album of Calle Real, "Me Lo Gané" was released in june of 2009 and the critic of the album has been overwhelming so far ...

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