It’s been seven decades since anyone actually stepped into the Buena Vista Social Club, a members-only hangout in Havana, where some of the island’s most skillful singers and musicians pioneered a distinctive Afro-Cuban mezcla of jazz, mambo, charanga, cha-cha-cha, rumba, and son.
The club closed in the 1940s, over a decade before Castro’s revolution and the forced shutdown of many similar Cuban nightspots in the early ‘60s. But since some of that original scene’s essential players reemerged following Cuban musicians Juan de Marcos González and American guitarist Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club album in 1997, this legendary, long-shuttered establishment has become a symbol of a lost Havana.
Of course, the Buena Vista Social Club also became a movie, as well as the banner under which the surviving musicians of that era tour the world.
Since ’97, though, six of the collective’s core figures have died: Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Rubén González, Orlando “Cachaíto” Lopez, Pío Leyva, and Manuel “Puntillita” Licea.
And though original members Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa still lead the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, the time has come to say goodbye.
Almost 20 years after the original Buena Vista Social Club album, there is a new 14-track collection of unreleased cuts, entitled Lost & Found, with a list of contributions from late members, including Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, and Orlando "Cachaíto" López, as well as Portuondo and Ochoa.
Meanwhile, the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club is celebrating this latest batch of archival recordings by bidding farewell to fans everywhere. The Adios Tour, as it is dubbed, will travel to 30 North American cities, from Chicago to Los Angeles and San Antonio, before arriving on Thursday, October 22, at the Adrienne Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall in downtown Miami.
And then 16 days later, the Buena Vista Social Club's final Adios will be said in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club’s Adios Tour Dates
August 12 Ravinia Festival Pavilion, Highland Park, IL
August 15 Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA
August 16 Green Music Center: Weill Hall & Lawn, Rohnert Park, CA
August 19 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
August 20 Humphreys Concerts By The Bay, San Diego, CA
August 22 Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO
August 24 Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City, UT
August 27 Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI
August 29 Filene Center at Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA
August 30 Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
September 27 Koerner Hall, Toronto, ON
September 29 Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary, AB
October 1 Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, BC
October 2 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
October 4 Schnitzer Hall, Portland, OR
October 7 Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Davis, CA
October 9 Zellerbach Auditorium at UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
October 11 Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA
October 13 The Granada, Santa Barbara, CA
October 15 Ikeda Theatre, Mesa, AZ
October 17 Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
October 18 The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin, TX
October 22 Knight Concert Hall, Miami, FL
October 24 Rialto Center at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
October 26 Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, NC
October 29 Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA
October 30 Ulster Performing Arts Center, Kingston, NY
November 1 Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
November 3 Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
November 7 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club’s Adios Tour. Thursday, October 22, at Knight Concert Hall at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.