Orlando "Maraca" Valle Biography

Orlando "Maraca" Valle was born in Havana, Cuba, in September 1966. He grew up in a family of musicians and started to study the flute at the age of ten. In 1988, Maraca was asked to join his first professional group, Irakere. Irakere, very famous both in Cuba and throughout Latin America, was founded in 1973 by Chucho Valdés and Paquito D'Rivera. He worked in Irakere as a flutist, keyboard player, and arranger and through the group was introduced to a host of internationally known jazz and Latin musicians, including Dizzie Gillespie, Paquito D'Rivera, and Chick Corea. He stayed with Maraca and enjoyed six years of international fame until he left to start a solo career in 1994. On his first solo effort, El Pasaporte, he collaborated with noted Cuban percussionists Tata Güines and Anga Miguel Diaz. This jump started his career as a solo artist and gained him an outstanding national reputation as a writer, arranger, and soloist. He continued to release a series of solo records through the '90s and in 1999 formed his own group, Maraca & Otra Visión. Because of less stringent political restrictions, Maraca & Otra Visión enjoyed a much more diverse and global audience, taking part in international jazz festivals and special engagements across North America, Asia, and Europe. ~ Nate Cavalieri, Rovi


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