The outstanding Cuban composer and singer Adalberto Alvarez He died on Tuesday night at the age of 72, a victim of COVID-19. The news was confirmed to CiberCuba by sources from the “Pedro Kourí” Institute of Tropical Medicine, where the interpreter remained hospitalized. The musician’s daughter, Dorgeris Álvarez, who was reporting on her father’s health in recent days, added a mourning bow to her Facebook profile photo.
After knowing the news, messages of condolences from Cuban musicians and groups such as Isaac Delgado, Alain Pérez and Los Van Van, among others, have immediately begun to flood social networks, although the Cuban Institute of Music and UNEAC have not yet issued no official statement.
On August 20, a post on Facebook by Dorgeris Álvarez set off the alarms about the state of health of the famous sonero. In the following days, relatives of Adalberto Álvarez reported on his clinical evolution and also they denied rumors about his death. From the beginning, numerous followers and colleagues and friends of the artist, such as Puerto Rican salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa, joined in chains of prayer and wishes for a speedy recovery, although unfortunately this Wednesday the death of the prominent composer, arranger, singer and pianist has been confirmed.
Nicknamed “El Caballero del Son”, Adalberto Álvarez is the most covered Cuban sonero in the Latin sphere of the last 30 years and one of the most important figures in Cuban music in recent decades. Leader first of Son 14 and after Adalberto Álvarez and his son, in the musician’s extensive career there are about twenty albums, among which are: My beautiful habanera, To dance casino, The son of Adalberto sounds Cuban, Playing with candela, Sonero soy, Locos por el son, El Chévere and El Caballero And what do you want them to give you, Omara with Adalberto, Adalberto’s super hits, SON 14, among others.
The album Son para un sonero (Bis Music, 2020) -released just a year ago- became a heartfelt tribute that received a concert at the Karl Marx Theater on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Cuban musician’s artistic life and the 35th of his group. That emotional concert in the Cuban capital, Adalberto Álvarez considered an inestimable gift for allowing him to confirm the recognition and appreciation of his colleagues, and “to be a prophet in my land,” as he then told the national press. Adalberto Cecilio Álvarez Zayas was born in Havana on November 22, 1948, although he always considered himself a Camagüey, where his family was from. With just three years of age he showed faculties for music and in 1957 he was part of the Orchestra “Avance Juvenil”, directed by his father. In the 1960s he was a singer in Combo Caribe, a group of amateurs from Camagüey. In 1966 he began studying bassoon at the National School of Art (ENA) and the following year he began to conduct the typical school orchestra for 8 years. At that time, Joseíto González, director of the Rumbavana orchestra, listened to one of his works and added to his repertoire several of his works, including “El son de Adalberto”, which became a success. In 1978 the “Son 14” orchestra was born, one of the milestones in the musical development of Adalberto Álvarez, who led the group for five years and starred in several international tours.
A year later, in 1979 Adalberto recorded his first with “Son 14”, entitled “A Bayamo en Coche” with the EGREM record label. Around that time, the pianist Frank Fernández suggested that he go to record in Havana and he became the producer of his first six albums. In February 1984 he founded “Adalberto Álvarez y su son”, a group with which he made his mark and became a chair in Cuban music. In the last decades Adalberto continued to make international and national tours, earning the respect and admiration of the Cuban and Latin public.