OSVALDO CHACON Originally trained as a teacher in Havana, Osvaldo Chacón began his musical career with some of Cubays top salsa bands, including Paulito FG and El Medico de la Salsa (with whom he was featured on the CD Una Aventura Loca). In 1995 he joined Bamboleo as lead male singer (alongside the charismatic female duo of Haila and Vannia) and was featured on their seminal CD Te Gusto o te caigo bien (You like me, fancy me), released in 1997 on the American label Ahí-Namá. He also wrote some of the songs including the title track. The track went on to win Chacón a prize for "best debut work" in Cuba's influential annual music industry awards Cubadisco 98. Chacón was also featured in the performance of the longest son ever played in the world (as registered in the Guinness Book of Records, as part of the 1997 line-up of Cuba's leading popular orchestras at Havana's famous Salon Rosado de la Tropical). In 1997 Chacón came to London to form his own group and rapidly established himself as a leading exponent in the UK of the new and exciting sound of Cuban timba, seldom heard live in Great Britain at that time. While developing Chacón y su Timba. Osvaldo Chacón continued to be in demand as a singer and solo artist, and has been invited to perform alongside the likes of Adalberto Santiago, Azuquita, Tito Allen (Fania All Stars) , Roberto Pla, Herman Olivera and Eddie Palmieri (at Ronnie Scott's), the great Latin percussionist Giovanni Hildago (at the Queen Elizabeth Hall), Chick Corea as well as the supreme luminaries of Latin song Celia Cruz, Oscar d'Leon, Ruben Blades and Alberto "El Canario". Chacón y su Timba includes a line-up of the UK's foremost Cuban and Latin musicians, proving a great success with audiences and promoters. The band has played at a variety of leading Festivals, arts centre and nightclub venues around the country including a rousing session at the Barbican Centre's ¡Cuba Presente! Festival in 2000, the Clerkenwell Festival in 1999, the World Beat Festival in Morecombe Bay in 2000, Musicport in Whitby in 2001; and around London at the Millenium Dome, Africa Centre, Cargo, O'Neill's Leytonstone, Smollensky's, Turnmills, with regular invitations to appear at Momos. Other UK touring dates include Colchester Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic, The Jazz and Roots Club at the Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, the Black Bottom Club, Northampton and Southhill Park Arts Centre. In early 2001, Chacón went to Havana to record his first solo CD Salsa Afro Cubana with top-ranking Cuban artists, performing all his own compositions and arrangements. The album was released later that year on the UK-based ARC record label and the lead track Mi Vicio (My Vice) was included in the recent MANTECA compilation Salsa Timba, Meanwhile the original music from the album has been inluded in the live sets of Chacón y su Timba. Future plans for the band include a date at the Queen Elizabeth Hall supporting Eddie Palmieri, the Bath Festival, and the proposed release of Chacón's latest album, again featuring all new material, recently recorded in Havana. His song “Cumbia pa’Colombia” features in the book “The AQA GCSE Anthology of Music” and is use an example of Latin music for students studying for music exams.