Who was Bebo Valdes, and what were his contributions to music?
Born in Cuba, Bebo Valdes was the son of a cigar factory worker and grandson of a slave who became a renowned pianist, bandleader, composer, and arranger. He died at age 94 in March, 2013, in Sweden where he had married Rose Marie Pehrson, a calvary officer's daughter, whom he had met when on tour in 1928. Prior to this marriage, Valdes had been married to Pilar Valdes, with whom he had five children, one of whom is his famous son Chucho, with whom Bebo put together a revival of his career in jazz in 2008; their work together brought them a Grammy, and also the equivalent of a Grammy awarded in Cuba.
Fearful of Fidel Castro, Valdes left Cuba for Mexico, and later Spain, in the 1960's, but during the post-World War II and pre-Castro...
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