Orlando "Maraca" Valle
Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars
Maraca and His Latin Jazz All Stars is the most influential Afro-Cuban band of the emerging century. -Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribute.
Orlando “Maraca” Valle was born in Havana, Cuba to a family of musicians. He started playing flute at age ten and later studied at the Higher Institute of Art of Havana. By 1988, he was asked to join Cuba’s famous band, Irakere where he served as flutist, keyboardist, and arranger. After six years with Irakere, Maraca launched his solo career in 1994 with Pasaporte, which featured collaborations with noted Cuban percussionists Tata Güines and Miguel "Angá" Díaz. He has since earned an international reputation not only as a master flutist but also as a multi-instrumentalist, writer and arranger. His albums represent his foray as a composer and showcase his astonishing talents.
Maraca’s talent was honed through years of touring and collaborating with the world’s best musicians. After decades building an international name for himself in prestigious Cuban and Latin ensembles, his Grammy-nominated 2003 solo release Tremenda Rumba reached the top 15 on Billboard’s Tropical Album chart in the U.S. His masterpiece album Descarga Total! is one of Cuba’s bestselling albums ever.
Maraca has appeared at prestigious festivals in Aspen, Montreux, Montreal, Vancouver, Istanbul, North Sea, Paris, Nice and many others. He has performed at top international venues like the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the House of Music in Moscow, and the Athens’ Opera House in Greece and has also lent his arranging and composing skills to the likes of Cesaria Evora, Leonid Agutin, Cubanismo, the Afro-Cuban All–Stars, Orlando Poleo, Nora, Amadito Valdès, Yumuri, Monique Seka and many others.
Maraca continues to collaborate and share the stage with some of the world’s best musicians including Russian Pop star Leonid Agutin, Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and guitarist Al di Meola with whom he performed at the Jazz à Vienne Festival in France. At a recent performance in Paris, Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars featured notable artists Steve Turre, Brian Lynch, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Irving Acao and Grégory Privat.