Traditional Tropical Album
VIVENCIAS EN CLAVE CUBANA
Kiki Valera feat. Coco Freeman
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, sound engineer and producer, Kiki Valera is best known as one of the world’s greatest players of the Cuban cuatro, a traditional string instrument from Cuba (Creole guitar)
with 8 strings grouped in sets of two. 
ABOUT THE ALBUM
"Vivencias en Clave Cubana" is the debut solo album of Cuban cuatro master Kiki Valera, a member of the Familia Valera Miranda, a century-old group and one of the most important purveyors of the Son Cubano. While completely dedicated to the performance of traditional Cuban music, Valera was exposed to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea through cassette tapes while in school and those jazz inspirations elevate the quality of his cuatro solos in subtle and beautiful ways. Joined here by childhood friend, reknowned Cuban vocalist Coco Freeman, Valera and his exciting ensemble pair 12 original songs with beautiful instrumental work in ways that will make you dance, laugh, and possibly shed a tear. Cuba's traditional music has a history of constant evolution from its very beginnings. With "Vivencias en Clave Cubana," Kiki Valera continues in that spirit.
SOBRE EL ÁLBUM
"Vivencias en Clave Cubana" es el primer álbum como solista del virtuoso cuatrista cubano Kiki Valera, miembro de la Familia Valera Miranda, un grupo centenario y uno de los proveedores más importantes del Son Cubano. Mientras estaba completamente dedicado a la interpretación de la música tradicional cubana, Valera estuvo expuesto a Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery y Chick Corea a través de cintas de cassette mientras estaba en la escuela, y esas inspiraciones de jazz elevaron la calidad de sus solos de maneras sutiles y hermosas. Acompañado aquí por el amigo de la infancia, el reconocido vocalista cubano Coco Freeman, Valera y su emocionante conjunto combinan 12 canciones originales con un hermoso trabajo instrumental de maneras que lo harán bailar, reír y posiblemente derramar una lágrima. La música tradicional cubana tiene una historia de evolución constante desde sus inicios. Con "Vivencias en Clave Cubana", Kiki Valera continúa con ese espíritu.
This album was recorded in its entirety by Kiki at his facility in Seattle. He employed various specialty recording techniques to capture the living essence of his cuatro, especially a custom microphone vacuum tube preamplifier he hand built from scratch. He also added color and warmth to the sound with equalizers and vintage microphones he modified and refurbished.
ALBUM REVIEWS
...the kind of stuff that completely knocks gringos off their pins.
MIDWEST RECORD

5-STARS
ROOTS MUSIC REPORT

Kiki Valera is a Cuban cuatro master... a joyous, virtuosic romp of
beautifully penned music performed masterfully.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ  

Among the standout features of this project are Valera's skillfully arranged songs and superb cuatro solos along with the virtuosic singing and composing of Coco Freeman.

Best 20 Music Albums of 2020
WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL

Historic…breathtaking lusciousness
LATIN JAZZ NETWORK

This one cooks like fried rice!
JAZZ WEEKLY

One of the world's greatest exponents of the cuatro...Valera specializes in son, the infectious call-and-answer Cuban song form, but solos like a jazz guy.
THE SEATTLE TIMES

WINNER: Golden Ear Award 2019
EARSHOT JAZZ  

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