Sunday, August 07, 2005


The death has been announced of Ibrahim Ferrer, one of the voclaists with the Buena Vista Social Club. Ferrer - known for his cap and greying moustache - was one of the team of Cuban son musicians recruited by Ry Cooder for his 1999 album and took a role in the film which followed the CD. Subsequently, Ferrer had been creating a solo career, winning a Latin 'newcomer' Grammy in 2000, at the age of 73.

Born in Santiago in 1927, Ferrer's career started back in 1941, singing with a string of top bands including that of Pacho Alonso. It was Alonso's move to Havana in 1959 which persuaded Ferrer to relocate to the island's capital. He had retired in the early 80s, but was persuaded to return to the stage to take part in Cooder's project. In his words:

"An angel came and picked me up and said, 'Chico, come and do this record.' I didn't want to do it because I had given up on music. But now I have my own record, my first one ever, so I'm very happy. I don't have to shine shoes anymore."