Buena Vista Social Club duo sets tour

Members to perform in three Brazillian cities

HAVANA -- Two of the youngest founding members of Cuba's legendary Buena Vista Social Club held a jam session in central Havana on Thursday, a tuneup for their three-city tour of Brazil next week.

Percussionist Amadito Valdes, 63, and Barbarito Torres, a decade his junior, rehearsed with younger musicians for a small group of journalists at the home of Fabian Garcia, a bassist who will join the pair in concerts in Sao Paulo, Refife and Olinda beginning Sept. 1. Torres plays a Cuban lute called the "laud."

"We are going to play all of our traditional songs: son, danzon, bolero, all those things identified with Buena Vista Social Club," Valdes said.

Garcia's century-old, colonial-style home featured towering pillars and a large portrait of Jesus Christ in the living room, which was brimming with practicing musicians. The rehearsal was not open to the public, but neighbors stuck their heads in street-level windows for a better view.

Many members of the original Buena Vista group have died since American guitarist and producer Ry Cooder brought the aging Cuban musicians together in the 1990s and they became international stars. But Valdes said he thinks the group's "transcendence is guaranteed with the incorporation of talented youngsters who play our music."

About a dozen musicians will participate in the tour, including Valdes' 28-year-old daughter, Idania, a singer who recently recorded a solo album, and Teresa Garcia Caturla, or "Tete," who has sung with the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.