Afro Cuban Jazz

Flautist, pianist, composer and arranger, Orlando Valle "Maraca" was a prodigy child. He wrote his first song at the early age of 10. After completing his classical studies at the Amadeo Roldán conservatory and then at the High Academic Institute of the Arts in Havana, he started his professional career at the age of 16 as flutist in the group of the late Cuban pianist Emiliano Salvador. He later played in Bobby Carcassés' group, before joining the legendary Cuban group Irakere as flutist, keyboard player and arranger. Maraca remained there for 6 years.

At the age of 24, he decided to embark on his own career as a soloist and musical producer. That year he produced, composed and arranged much of the album "Pasaporte" by the Cuban percussionists Tata Guines and Angá, followed by other prominent productionshe wrote and arranged several hit songs on the first and second Cubanismo albums, which led him to create his own group "Maraca &Otra Visión" in 1996.

Throughout the years he has produced many important projects, contributing with many compositions and arrangements of his own for Cape Verdian singer Cesaria Evora's "Café Atlantico," the Afro-Cuban Jazz Project, Japanese singer Nora, Monique Seka, Venezuelan percussionist Orlando Poleo, Canadian Jane Bunnett, Yumuri y Sus Hermanos, Leyanis López and many more. As guest flutist, he has participated in more than 40 different productions.

Maraca currently leads two different musical projects :

Maraca &Otra Visión, a powerful 12 piece-ensemble, which offers a broad musical spectrum and repertoire - from traditional Cuban music to Latin-jazz.

Maraca &Afro-Cuban Jazz Masters, featuring 11 musicians, is an All Stars of Cuban and Latin Music, and is characterized by the rotary system of his guests. For its sold-out US presentations in December 2001, Maraca &Afro-Cuban Jazz Masters featured the percussionists Tata Guines, Giovanni Hidalgo, Changuito, Enrique Lazaga, as well as Jimmy Bosch, Cotó, Yumurí and more. The repertoire is made of "Descargas" (Cuban Jam Sessions) and Latin-jazz tunes with original arrangements of Maraca and some the band-members.

His newest released "Tremenda Rumba" is the result of an intense artistic work arisen from the encounter between the pictorial world of Cuban painter Salvador González and the original afro-Cuban music of Maraca. It received a Grammy Award nomination.

Flautist, composer and musical director Orlando Valle "Maraca" requires no introduction to Cuban music aficionados. Schooled in the renowned tradition of Irakere and Cubanísmo, and a studio musician much in demand, Valle has turned bandleader in recent years, fronting the Afro-Cuban Jazz Project (Descarga Uno, Circular Moves, 1999) and Otra Visión, his present group. Among its over two dozen associates are standout soloists Moisés "Yumurí" Valle (vocals), Pancho Amat (tres), Enrique Lazaga (percussion), José Luis "Changuito" Quintana (timbales and percussion), Irving Acao (alto sax) and Javier Zalba (baritone sax). Recorded in France,

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