calixto oviedo on drums

Where timba meets jazz

Calixto Oviedo was born on October 14, 1955 in the Havana barrio of La Vibora. Calixto’s earliest musical memories were at the age of two or three, waiting in front of the television, toy violin in hand, to play along with performances of his favorite band, Orquesta Aragón. 

Recognizing his son’s unusual talent, Eusebio Oviedo began to bring his fiveyearold son to the hotel Nacional, where he worked, and was able to sneak him backstage at the Cabaret Parisién to hear the house band. Quite a house band it was, featuring the likes of Rubén González and Jorge Varona. Calixto refers to the Cabaret Parisién as “my university”. 

Calixto’s first major group was formed in 1972 with future Van Van trombonist and arranger Hugo Morejón, future NG La Banda trumpeter José Miguel “El Greco” Crego, bassist Omar Hernández, singer Orestes Roque and conguero Santiago Gainza. It was Calixto who came up with the band’s name, Acheré.

In 1977, Calixto began his mandatory stint in the army, but by this time he was in such demand that Pacho Alonso pulled sufficient governmental strings to allow Calixto to be a soldier by day and Pacho’s drummer by night. Calixto recorded about five albums with Pacho, including El Guayabero, and after the legendary singer’s death in 1982, Calixto stayed in the band for another year with Pachito Alonso, and joined later  Adalberto Álvarez y su Son.

Adalberto Álvarez y su Son was one of the leading groups of the 1980s and Calixto’s driving groove and unique sizzling hihat were a big part of their appeal.

In early 90's José Luis “El Tosco” Cortés, founded  NG La Banda, along with several other horn players, including José “El Greco” Crego from Calixto’s Acheré days, and  singers Issac Delgado and Tony Calá from Pachito Alonso and Ritmo Oriental, respectively.  Calixto joined NG and found himself on a tour through Europe and Japan that produced the live double album En cuerpo y alma. During this period NG la banda recorded many of their greatest songs including Santa Palabra, Èchale Limon, and El tragico.

Today after more than 38 years as a professional musician, he has had the opportunity to work and perform with a large number of internationally known musicians, such as:

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paquito D’Rivera, David Sanchez, Danilo Pérez, Arturo Sandoval, Luis Conte, Ray Barreto, Chucho Valdés,Giovanni Hidalgo, Willie Colón, Alfredo Rodriguez, Dave Valentin, Juan Pablo Torres, Emiliano Salvador, Chico Freeman, Orlando "Maraca" Valle, Tony Martinez, Tata Güines, José Luis "Changuito" Quintana, Miguel "Angá" Diaz, among others.

He resides today in LA. California.

 

 

 

Endorsers:

             Soultone Cymbals,

                 Aquarian Drums Head

                                  Gon Bops Percussion

                                                        Innovative Percussion