Calixto Oviedo’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Quintet

Calixto Oviedo’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Quintet

Calixto Oviedo – Drums
Lily Hernandez – Vocals
Andrew Vogt – Alto Saxophone
Victor Mestas Pérez – Piano
Gonzalo Teppa – Bass

One of the indisputable creators of the rhythmic patterns of contemporary Cuban music, Calixto Oviedo is a living legend who has assimilated the influences of great Afro-Cuban and jazz drummers to forge a style that has become its own standard for later generations. A former member of Cuban supergroup NG La Banda, he now brings his Afro-Cuban jazz quintet to Dazzle, featuring Latin Grammy-nominated vocalist Lily Hernandez.

Calixto Oviedo is a Latin Grammy-nominated artist (La Rumba del Siglo, 2000) who over the course of a successful 38-year career has had the opportunity to play with numerous internationally known artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chucho Valdés, Danilo Pérez, David Sanchez, Luis Conte, Ray Barreto, Giovanni Hidalgo, Alfredo Rodriguez, Dave Valentin, Juan Pablo Torres, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, and Tony Martínez, as well as the celebrated Cuban percussionists Tata Güines, José Luis “Changuito” Quintana, and Miguel “Angá” Diaz.

Oviedo was born on October 14, 1955 in the Havana barrio of La Vibora. His earliest musical recollection is from the age of two or three, waiting in front of the television with toy violin in hand, eager to play along with the performances of his favorite band La Orquesta Aragón. It was at the advanced age of four, however, that it became clear to this young prodigy that his true calling was to play the drums. He discarded his toy violin in favor of a plastic bucket, several empty cans, and an old frying pan, all of which he played with drumsticks fashioned from coat hangers.

At the ripe age of eight, he entered the primary music school of Caturla in Havana and appeared with several famous Cuban musicians, among them the piano master Rubén Gonzalez. After graduating from the National High School of the Arts, he played with many different bands such as the radio and television orchestra Grupo Achére. Later, he joined the band of the Cuban bolero singer Pacho Alonso, and in the early ’80s he became the very first drummer in the band of Arturo Sandoval.

In 1983 Oviedo founded the Adalberto y Su Son orchestra with his old school mate Adalberto Alvarez, where he played timbales. He stayed there until the beginning of 1990, when he joined the music group Pachito Alonso y Sus Kini Kini. In 1991 he started playing the drums and timbales in NG La Banda, considered by many to be the creators of the Cuban sound known as “timba”, as well as the best and most exciting Cuban dance group of the 1990s.

NG La Banda was best known for their emphasis on tight rhythms and their aggressive brass section nicknamed the “terror brass”, and Oviedo’s drums and timbales were at the forefront. He was their drummer during the period that produced many of their greatest recordings: Santa Palabra, Échale Limón, and El Trágico. In the mid-90s he relocated to Sweden, during which time he made an excellent timba record entitled La Recompensa with his son Yulién and other key members of Charanga Habanera, while also serving as the drummer of the Afro-Cuban All Stars band.


Mar 13 2020


6:30 pm - 7:45 pm


$18, $25


Dazzle @ Baur's
1512 Curtis Street, Denver, CO, 80202


(303) 839-5100