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THE BEGINNING

Eliades Ochoa Bustamante was born on June 22, 1946.

His birthplace, La Loma de la Avispa, is located in Songo la Maya, a municipality in Santiago de Cuba province.

As a self-taught musician, he began to play the guitar at the age of 6. His parents had a rural upbringing and were popular musicians with no formal training. His father Aristónico Ochoa and his mother both played the tres guitar (an autochthonous Cuban instrument).

Eliades (first from left to right) with parents and siblings. photo: Personal Archive of Eliades Ochoa

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He grew older surrounded by sones montunos and guarachas just like his brothers, who played the guitar and sang popular tunes too. He was raised in Cuban countryside. When he was a boy, he often attended guateques (traditional parties in Eastern Cuba) and listened to people’s anecdotes of that time. All of these experiences led him to develop a completely self-taught art expression with a clearly recognizable style that has allowed him to become a composer and an arranger of his own songs.

Eliades (right) playing the three, along with Benito Suárez (left) and Radamés Camañol (center). photo: Personal Archive of Eliades Ochoa

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Eliades (center) playing the three, along with Radamés Camañol (left) and María Ochoa (right). photo: Personal Archive of Eliades Ochoa

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Eliades Ochoa in the old House of the Trova of Santiago de Cuba

1997

He received a Grammy Award in the category Best Tropical Music Album for Buena Vista Social Club. This project brought together American musicians Ry and Joachim Cooder with outstanding Cuban musicians such as Juan de Marcos, Rubén González, Raúl Planas, Compay Segundo, Pío Leyva, Ibrahim Ferrer, Manuel Licea (Puntillita), and Manuel Mirabal (El guajiro). In addition, they received several gold and platinum record awards for this album.

1971

He joined the traditional music group Quintento de la Trova and, later, Septeto Típico Oriental. That year, the well-known night club Casa de la Trova, in Santiago de Cuba, admitted him as a regular performer at the venue.

1978

After receiving an invitation by Francisco Cobas “Pancho”, founder of the Vieja Trova Santiaguera, he joined Cuarteto Patria. Once in the group, Ochoa assimilated the quartet’s repertory and mixed it with his own personal style. By using his expressive resources, he demonstrated a profound devotion for Cuban music. He showed an introspective capacity and his style brought a new touch of originality to the group.
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Cuarteto Patria (Aristotle Limonta, Joaquín Solórzano, Francisco Cobas and Eliades Ochoa) in the Céspedes Park in Santiago de Cuba.

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GRAMMY

Best Tropical Music Album -1997
By Buena Vista Social Club
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CUBADISCO

Cubadisco Honor Award - 2011
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GRAMMY LATINO

Best Traditional Tropical Album - 2012
For Un Bolero para Ti
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Latin Music Billboard Award

Tropical Artist Album of the Year - 2016
Duo or group held at the Bank United Center

1999

He and the other members of Buena Vista Social Club were nominated to an Academy Award for the homonymous film, directed by Wim Wenders and produced by Ry Cooder.

2010

Malian artists Toumani Diabaté, Bassekou Kouyate, Kasse Mady Diabaté, Djelimady Tounkara, Fode Lassana Diabaté and Baba Sissoko recorded with Ochoa the album Afrocubism, selected by National Geographic Magazine as “the best album in the world”. This musical production was originally conceived in 1996 but the Malian artists could not come to Cuba that year due to logistic reasons. Then, the project was developed with the name of Buena Vista Social Club and it included only Cuban musicians. Finally, in 2010, the old musical dream could come true.

Eliades Ochoa

Has released more than 20 albums that compile classical songs of the trova santiaguera. His records have been licensed by labels such as Corason, Virgin, EGREM and Bis Music. Besides, he has contributed with more than 30 albums of other relevant musicians.
Cuban rhythms have travelled with him worldwide. He has wowed audiences in Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Guadalupe, Martinica, Grenade, Curazao, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, United States, and beyond.

Awards and distinctions

National

Special mention at the Cuban Disco Fair, Havana, 1997
Lucas Awards for Best Video Clip a Pin Your Lips Maria, 2000
Shield of the city of Santiago de Cuba, 2002
Plate José María Heredia, 2003
Medal 490 years of the city of Santiago de Cuba
Key of the city of Sancti Spíritus
Replica of Machete by Máximo Gomez, Havana, 2001
Illustrious son of Santiago de Cuba, 2003.

International

Grammy Award Album “Buena Vista Social Club”, 1997.
Gold Album for 50,000 copies sold of the disc “Buena Vista Social Club”.
Illustrious son of the Community of Bari, Italy, 1998.
Gold Album for 100,000 copies sold from the album Buena Vista Social Club, France.
Platinum album for the extraordinary work as an artist, Japan, 1999.
“Illustrious Person” Jubileo 2000 Mantova, Italy.
Best album of traditional folk music, “Tribute to the Quartet Patria” SGAE, Madrid, 2001.
Best Music Album in the World by National Geographic, 2010.
Grammy Award Latin album “Un bolero para ti”, 2012.
Through his life, Ochoa has played together with relevant musicians from all over the world
  • Omara Portuondo
  • Rafael Cueto
  • Carlos Puebla
  • Barbarito Diez
  • Ñico Saquito
  • Faustin Oramas (El Guayabero)
  • Francisco Repilado (Compay Segundo)
  • Generoso Jiménez
  • Ibrahim Ferrer
  • Rubén González
  • Juan de Marcos González
  • Silvio Rodríguez
  • Chucho Valdés
  • José María Vitier
  • Edesio Alejandro
  • Ibrahim Ferrer
  • Miriam Makeba
  • Ángel Almenares (Hijo)
  • Rigoberto Hechavarría (Maduro)
  • Barbarito Torres

currently

He continues his career as a singer, guitarist and composer with his group Patria. Ochoa is always working in the creation of new musical projects.

CONTACT US

CONTACTclear

ELIADES OCHOA OFFICE

13 Street # 6019 between 60 and 62. Playa Municipality, Havana, Cuba
+(53) 7 209 2745
patriajigue@gmail.com