X Alfonso Valdes is the idol of more than one generation of Cubans living inside and outside the Island.
The multi-skilled and multi-awarded performer is recognized by his most famous albums like “Revoluxion” or “Reverse”. But the truth is this man has more to tell. His work is not only about music, he is also UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador and the mastermind of the cultural project knowed as Cuban Art Factory (FAC in Spanish).
He was borned in one of the many Cuban musical families. His mother is Ele Valdes, his father is Carlos Alfonso and his little sister is Eme Alfonso. All of them have become popular for their work in the Sintesis Association. In this kind of family band, X played for more than 15 years. Currently, he still collaborates with them musically in parallel with his solo career. X is also interested in Sintesis line of work: fusion of Afro-Cuban music with the most contemporary trends.
The search for his own sound
With an academic path that goes from Manuel Saumell elementary music school to the National Art School, X decided to “spread his wings” and not only became involved in his parent’s project but also displayed all creative sides on different projects. He started his own band in 1992, “Rock Havana”, where he performed as bass player and participated in several Jazz Plaza festivals.
A tireless worker, he collaborated with several musicians and merged very different styles during the period he was working in “Rock Havana” and “Sintesis”. As examples, he joined as keyboard player the band “Estado de Ánimo” (Mood), led by Roberto Carcasses; he has accompanied Santiago Feliu, Cecilia Noel, Mi Nge Shell O’Cello, Amaury Pérez, Carlos Varela and many other stars in countless presentations.
Along with the musical indepence, global success
In 1999 he releases his album “Real World” with the Brazilean band Velas. From that moment, X Alfonso would increase his experimentation with sound. This album would lead to a successuful career and a legacy in the hybrid music in Cuba. The mix of styles in later albums would become increasingly consistent and more exotic. In addition, the signature of his songs are lyrics looking for inspiration in Cuban daily life. Every man and woman, inside and outside the Island, could easily see themselves in his verses. With his album “X Moré: tribute” he was nominated for 2002 Latin Grammy Awards; whereas with “Civilization”, he obtained the Grand Prix at the 2005 Cubadisco.
Beyond music: the Art
His links with other artistic expressions are abundant. From his early career he has collaborated with the worlds of dance and cinema. With the film “Maria Antonia” by Sergio Giral, he was granted the Coral Award for the best soundtrack at the Latin American Film Festival in Havana in 1990.
This achievement was repeated in year 2000 with the film “Honey for Oshun” (Miel para Oshún) by Humberto Solas. He also composed the soundtrack for the film “Havana Blues” with which he won a Goya Award in Spain. Alfonso X’s creativity seems to know no bounds and he is undoubtedly one of the leading figures of contemporary Cuban music and an idol of generation.