Jorge Varona Cané was born in Camagüey on July 3, 1932.

His birth city is where he began his trumpet studies with the teachers Joaquin Olivera, Salorrel and Carmelo Álvarez and in which he will also study bombardino and trombone.

Jorge Varona

Jorge Varona

His first approach to jazz was with the orchestra of Ángel Mola, which he joined in 1947. Later he will be part of various groups, such as the Lycee Brothers Orchestra, the grouping of Vitico González (in which he remained until 1952) The Military Band of Camagüey and the set Avance Juvenil. In 1956 he made his first trip to Mexico as part of the Avilés Orchestra, known as one of the oldest popular dance orchestras on the island.

Already in 1959, Jorge Varona settled in Havana and joined the Casino group, the Sabor de Cuba orchestra with Bebo Valdés, the Giant Band of the prestigious Benny Moré, where it remained until 1963, and the orchestra directed by Eddy Gaytán. Later he will be part of the orchestra formed by Leonardo Timor in the cabaret Parisien where he will remain until 1967, year in which he founded the Cuban Orchestra of Modern Music along with other Cuban artists.

Jorge Varona: his passage through the Irakere Orchestra

He performed as a trumpet player in the Camagüey Symphony Orchestra and in the Instrumental Ensemble Nuestro Tiempo, under the direction of Manuel D. Cuzán. In 1967 he became one of the founders of the prestigious group Irakere, led by the outstanding pianist and composer Chucho Valdés. Alongside artists such as Arturo Sandoval (trumpet), Paquito D’Rivera (alto sax), José Luis Cortes “El Tosco” (sax baritone and flute), Tato Alfonso and César López (saxophone), Jorge Varona matured artistically Surprisingly.

His artistic work led him to appear in the stages of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world, such as the Jamboree of Poland, Montreux of Switzerland, North and See of Holland, Newport in New York, Jazz Square of Cuba and the Tierrazo of Mexico.

Jorge Varona also worked as a pedagogue. He lectured in the Soviet Union, in Puerto Rico and in the London Music Association. He was also a professor at the Ignacio Cervantes School of Professional Development.

His musical talent and originality in the performance of his instrument led him to receive good reviews in the international arena and placed him, without question, among one of the best Cuban trumpeters of the 20th century, along with figures of the importance of Arturo Sandoval, with Who often performed duets, Felix Chappottín, Leonardo Timor, Manuel Mirabal (El Guajiro), Luis Escalante, Adalberto Lara and Andrés Castro.

Among his most outstanding compositions are Bacalao con pan, from 1974 while he is part of the orchestra Irakere, Aguanile, Xiomara, A married man and Dile a Catalina.

The death of Jorge Varona Cané, on October 12, 1988 in Havana, was a blow to Cuban music that lost one of its most prestigious trumpet players and composers.

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