Carlos Sarduy

Carlos Sarduy – Charly en la Habana

Like with so many Cuban music artists, not enough people in the world have probably had the chance to access and hear Carlos Sarduy’s unique Afro-Cuban jazz music or super-fine trumpet playing.  This artist is another little gem from the much-insulated music bubble of Cuba.

Like with most Cuban music artists, there’s little to be found about Carlos Sarduy in the global press or cyber world.  No content on an official website.  No official musician/band page on FB (enough on its own to earn this artist my respect). Nothing really to be found in Wiki. So I don’t know much about what he’s doing musically in these days.

What I know is that during Carlos Sarduy’s long career in his so far short-lived life, he has collaborated with a long list of Cuban and Spanish music greats including Esperanza Spalding, Los Van Van, Roberto Carcasses, Bebo Valdés, Horacio el Negro, Julio Barreto, Ojos de Brujo and Buika.

On Carlos Sarduy’s first (and I think, only) solo album Charly en la Habana you’ll also find guest artists Chucho Valdés, Amadito Valdés,  Teresa García Caturla, Francis del Rio and Germán Velazco.  That’s a pretty great sign of something musically special yes?

Carlos Sarduy - Charly en la Habana (2005)

Charly en la Habana (2005)

Of all the instruments in the world I have an especially-sweet spot for the trumpet. So I can also tell you that Carlos Sarduy’s chops are pretty phenomenal – as is the level of musicianship of all musicians on Charly en la Habana, both guests and core ensemble members.

Also I know that the music on this album is skilfully composed (by Carlos Sarduy mostly) Cuban jazz with a sound only made in Cuba.

Check the music out yourself with these mp3 sample tracks from Charly en la Habana ‘Rumbatere’ features Carlos Sarduy’s contemporary Cuban jazz counterpart, saxophonist Germán Velazco (an artist for another day in this here Cuban series). ‘Erifa’ has some beautifully-minimalist vocals by Cuban singer/composer Francis del Rio.

Carlos Sarduy - Charly en la Habana (2005)

Charly en la Habana (2005) – Carlos Sarduy

‘Rumbatere’ – Charly en la Habana  – Carlos Sarduy (featuring Germán Velazco)


‘Erifa’ – Charly en la Habana  – Carlos Sarduy (featuring Francis del Rio)


You could buy the physical Charly en la Habana cd through on-line stores.  Or you could listen to and buy electronic copies of the music through Carlos Sarduy’s Bandcamp page or on Soundcloud.  But a much, much better and brilliant idea is to get yourself on a plane to Cuban shores and find this CD and more. It’s unfortunate for Carlos Sarduy and most music artists in Cuba, and unfortunate for worldwide appreciators of Cuban music that for political, social and economic reasons, you’ll probably have a hard time finding Charly en la Habana (and most other contemporary Cuban music CDs) in record stores outside of Cuba.

Maybe you’d find it in Spain these days where Carlos Sarduy might be?  Maybe he’s recording new music? Releasing it on vinyl?

Playing live?  You see it’s the live Carlos Sarduy experience that I really want to have now…in Cuba or anywhere else in the world he might be.

Anyone know where in the world we can find this?

This here salute to Carlos Sarduy, numero 2 in a Cuban music series, is dedicated as each one will be dedicated to my Cuban grandfather in heart (mi abuelo del corozon) and my dear friend (mi amigo querido) Elio. May you be in some beautiful place akin to dancing salsa, son, trova and rumba amongst the clouds.

Share this...
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter