Cyprus Mail

The melodies of Cuba

By Alix Norman

It’s always been easier to break into the music business if you’ve got a famous name behind you. Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’ hit number one around the world in 1966, her career no doubt helped by her father’s name, and the long-awaited debut album of Lisa-Marie – only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley – fared predictably well, reaching number 5 in the Billboard charts. King of Reggae, Bob Marley, managed to father two children who achieved musical acclaim: Ziggy of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and Damian Marley, who has twice won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album. So it’s no surprise that Ibrahim Ferrer Jr, son of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club musician of the same name, has also followed in his famous father’s musical footsteps.

An extremely talented musician in his own right, Ibrahim Ferrer Jr – often known as Ibra – is the youngest child of the iconic Cuban artist Ibrahim Ferrer, who rose to fame in the 1990s as one of the main artists featured in Ry Cooder’s album Buena Vista Social Club and the award-winning documentary film of the same name. The youngest child of six – and the long-awaited son – Ibra is carrying on his father’s tradition of bringing Cuban and Afro-Cuban music to the world, with a performance this coming Thursday at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol.

In the framework of their tour of Europe, Ibrahim Ferrer Jr and his band will be playing live at the venue, and audiences are promised a remarkable evening of entertainment. With his distinctive voice and a charisma that appeals to audiences of all ages, Ibra’s music blends Cuban rhythms with the music of Argentina – his chosen country of residence since 1999. Currently based in Buenos Aires, Ibra has led a colourful life which translates well to his soulful music: having left the navy to devote himself more completely to his music, he’s been the owner of a number of successful restaurants and the host of various Argentinian television shows, all while building a solo career worthy of his famous name.

Now recognised as one of the most important musical personalities in South America, Ibra often performed with the acclaimed Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, and found musical fame when he began playing in large festivals and participating in any number of tours within Argentina. With a discography that includes his participation in the Grammy-winning album Ibrahim Ferrer, and the album Omara Portuondo, Ibra has further expanded his solo career with international appearances at the Latino Americando Festival in Italy, the Jazz Parade in Switzerland and the Cuba Festival in Greece.

With the recording of Son Para Ti in 2002 and Al Son de un Homenaje – winner of the prestigious Gardel award in 2008 – the musician’s solo career began to hit new heights, and for the last two years Ibra and his band – often accompanied by celebrated Cuban pianist Raul Monteagudo – have been touring Europe to wide acclaim. Always true to his heritage, Ibra is an exponent of both classical Cuban songs and more recent works – often composed by Cubans living in Argentina – and his charisma and interpretation of Cuban classics have now built him a fan base that stretches to all four corners of the globe.

Much like his father before him, Ibra is dedicated to bringing the music of his homeland to the people of the world, and anyone heading along to the Rialto Theatre on Thursday night will no doubt have a treat in store. Ibra’s honeyed tones and faultless rhythms are sure to get the audience dancing and singing along as the star brings a touch of Cuban exuberance to our shores. With tickets already on sale from the Rialto Theatre website ( at a cost of either €12 or €17, make sure you get in before the rush for what is sure to be one of the most exciting performances of the new season. The show begins at 8.30pm, so if you’ve always had a passion for the catchy rhythms and poignant melodies of Cuba, don’t miss your chance to see this world-renowned son of a legend.

Rialto Theatre, Thursday 10th October, at 20.30
Information / reservations: 77 77 77 45

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