Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ibrahim Ferrer, 78

Ibrahim Ferrer at Carnegie Hall in 1998.

Had this page, B8, of the Monday, 8 August 2005, tacked onto a door in Chichester.

Mr. Ferrer was at the center of the Buena Vista Social Club, a phenomenon that brought long-delayed international fame to a group of older Cuban musicians thanks to a Grammy-winning 1997 album produced by Ry Cooder and a subsequent film by Wim Wenders, both by that name. Besides offering American audiences a musician's-eye view of Cuba, the film set up Mr. Ferrer as a particularly sympathetic figure - tall, distinguished and lively, an excellent bolero singer who used space and silence in his relaxed elegant delivery to increase the drama, a man who had been rolled over by history and was now simply trying to enjoy an absurdly lucky situation.

Born in 1927 at a social club dance in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba - his mother went into labor on a night out - Mr. Ferrer's first professional involvement with music came at age 13, a year after he became an orphan, when he joined a band, Los Jóvenes del Son.

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