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Rolando Laserie

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b. 27 August 1923, Santa Clara, Cuba, d. 22 November 1998, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. As a young man Laserie studied percussion before moving to Cuba’s capital, Havana. There he played timbales with La Banda Gigante, whose singer was the noted Cuban vocalist Beny Moré. He also found engagements on Radio Progresso, where he made the transition to singer and appeared alongside Tony Alvarez and Olga Chorens as a singing trio backed by Bebo Valdés’ radio orchestra. His deep, gravelly delivery was heard to best effect on a series of recordings in the guaracha and bolero styles, to which he brought a charismatic, half-sung, half-spoken approach. He recorded frequently in the 50s, often in consort with the Ernesto Duarte Orchestra. However, Laserie fled Cuba when Fidel Castro took power, moving to Mexico in 1960 and thence to New York and Miami. As an American citizen, Laserie recorded more sporadically, although he did appear alongside mambo great Israel ‘Cachao’ López for a reunion concert in 1996.

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27 August 1923 in Santa Clara, Cuba

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s