Jazz on the Tube brought Gilberto (left) and his friend
David Amram together again in Havana after a 40 year absence

Interview with Gilberto Valdés Zequeira

Download the mp3 here

Gilberto Valdés Zequeira was born in Havana on August 16, 1928.

Note: His mother was a milliner (hat), not a millionaire.

As a kid he listened to Chano Pozo’s rehearsals in the Colon neighborhood of Havana.

His vocal group had a weekly gig at the San Souci night club in Havana and he appeared on Cuba’s pioneering television channel twice a week in the 1950s.

Roy Haynes introduced him to American jazz drumming and gave him his first set of drumsticks.

He performed with his old friend Bebo Valdés when the two of them found themselves in Europe in the early 1960s.

He spent time as the #2 man at Egrem.

He was Dizzy Gillespie’s host when Dizzy visited Havana in 1977.

He introduced Irakere to Columbia Records and toured the world with them as their manager.

He helped save Cuba’s most important jazz club La Zorra y el Cuervo from being turned into a pizzeria.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Gilberto’s remarkable life.

Click here to learn more about Gilberto.

Havana’s top nightclub Sans Souci (1958)

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube

Honoring giants who passed in 2019
Jerry Gonzalez (1949-2018)

Subscribe to Jazz on the Tube

Jazz on the Tube is the largest annotated and indexed online collection of jazz videos on earth - and it's free. 

We have THREE OPTIONS to help de-clutter your mail box, but still keep the great music coming.

You have Successfully Subscribed!