Felipe Cabrera Cardenas

Paris, Fr
Artist / Band / Musician
Latin / Jazz / Fusion
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Born August 15, 1961 in Havana Cuba, Felipe belongs to the revolutionary generation of Cuban musicians and composers who chose jazz and its creative freedom as a means for artistic expression.
He started studying music at the age of 12 and followed a classical regiment over a 14-year period – the last five years spent at the renowned "Instituto Superior de Arte" and at the same time moonlighting as the bassoonist in the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. Strong relations began to form with other musicians such as Pablo Milanes & Sylvio Rodriguez and Felipe recorded, adding his bassoon to their albums during the late 70's and 80's.
It was during his symphony years that Felipe met Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez and his double bass. While developing his career as bassoonist and classical musician, Felipe was strongly attracted to Cuban folk music and jazz in its many forms. Wishing to expand his musical horizons in this direction, he undertook the challenge of teaching himself how to play the… double bass.

In 1984, his plans to leave Cuba to study in Prague were foiled by a young and very talented pianist who convinced Felipe to become the bass player in his band called Grupo Proyecto, which later became known as Cuarteto Cubano. The pianist was Gonzalo Rubalcaba and their collaboration went on to last for 14 years, together with Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez and Julio Barreto. Felipe also had the great opportunity to meet and play with Dizzy Gillespie and recording and playing alongside Charlie Haden.
Felipe recorded more than 8 albums with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, 2 of which were nominated for Grammys ("Rapsodia" in 1995 & "Antiguo" in 1996). Felipe, as a result, played in festivals all over the world. This period also coincided with other concerts alongside many other Cuban musicians like, Tata Guines, Changuito Quintana, Sergio Vitier, Santiago Feliu, Frank Emilio Flynn, Roberto Fonseca, Roberto Carcaces, Daphnis Prieto and many many others. Not to be forgotten were the famous jam sessions at the Havana Jazz Club "La Zorra y El Cuervo" with the likes of George Benson, Wynton Marsalis, Giovanno Hidalgo – but to mention a few.

In 1998, before moving to France, Felipe directed and produced his first solo album – Made in Animas - that was nominated in 2000 as Best Latin Jazz Album at Cuba Disco International Awards ceremony.
In 1999 Felipe moved to Paris. A Mecca for jazz musicians from all over, he has continued to amaze on the European scene, by playing with the great Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez and world renowned percussion player Miguel "Anga" Diaz – accompanying them both until the end of their lives. Felipe played in numerous concerts with the French-Cuban singer/songwriter Raul Paz. He recorded with "The Orishas" on their first album. He toured & played various concerts with Patato Valdes, Jimmy Sabater, José Mangual, Jr., Eddy Palmieri, Chico Freeman, Chano Dominguez,Christ Potter ,Mamani Keita, African salsa band Africando, and the list goes on.
In 2001 Felipe recorded his second solo album Evidence from El Cayo and created his quintet together with Orlando Poleo on percussion, Irving Acao on Sax, Lukmil Perez on drums, Leonardo Montana on piano - performing all over Europe forming one of the most cutting edge Contemporary Latin Jazz teams to have come about in a long time.
Felipe was also part of the orchestra for the Opera music-hall "Looking for Chano" -the life story of Chano Pozo written by Jerome Savary, director of the Opera-Comique Paris, Miguel Anga Diaz and American saxophonist Alan Hoist.
Today, Felipe is part of the Omara Portuondo new team, Harold Lopez Nussa trio and the saxophone player Julian Lourau's new project "Julian Lourau vs. Rumba Abierta" with whom he recorded his last album in June 2006.
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