Flute player, composer and arranger.
Orlando Valle, "Maraca", was born in September, 1966 in Havana within a family of musicians. When he was ten years old he began studying the flute at the "Manuel Saumell" Conservatory. His professional career began in 1987 with Bobby Carcassés´ Orchestra. Later on, he joined the group led by the pianist and composer Emiliano Salvador, whose experience constituted a remarkable influence for Maraca.
In 1988, Maraca joined the Irakere Group as flute player, composer and arranger with whom he performed at the most important jazz clubs and festivals across the world for six years.
In 1994, he parted from Irakere to start his career as soloist. He produced, orchestrated and composed the themes contained in the record entitled "Cocodrilo de agua salá" by Yumuri and His Brothers. Likewise, he composed the music for the "Pasaporte" record by the renowned Cuban percussionists Tata Guines and Angá. He conceived and arranged t hree of the themes included in the Cubanismo album by Jesús Alemañy and worked with the American saxophone player Steve Colleman and trumpet player Roy Hargrove. His first album as soloist was "Fórmula I".
In December 1995, he founded his own jazz group called "Maraca" y Otra Visión (the group"s name is a tribute to Emiliano Salvador, a true Cuban jazz legend) with which he participated at the most important jazz festivals held in Europe. Two years later, his group was the only Cuban group participating at the MIDEM in Cannes, France, representing the Cuban music. The first CD he recorded with his group, "Havana Calling", became a resounding hit on the market as was acknowledged by the specialized critic since it was placed among the ten best records in 1997 according to the "Latin Beat" Magazine. That same year, "Jazzman" from France, described him as one of the most important musical creators in the island, thus consolidating his vanguard position within the Latin jazz.
In 1999, he received the Cubadisco Award for the best fusion album with his CD entitled "Sonando" including guest stars like Compay Segundo, Barbarito Torres, Pío Leyva, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Rolo Martínez, Lino Borges and others. This record also received two Lucas Awards for the best video-clip of the year in Cuba.
The following years up to now have witnessed the meteoric development of "Maraca" and his group as musicians whose versatility has allowed them to travel from jazz to Cuban popular music, and vice versa, with a quality put to the proof. "Maraca" and his group have performed almost in every European country, in the United States, Canada and Martinique, among others, at the most outstanding jazz, salsa music and Caribbean music events. He has shared the stage with Celia Cruz, Oscar de León, "El Canario" and Cesaria Evora, just to mention a few.
His records entitled "Descarga total" and "Tremenda rumba" were placed in the American and European hit parades, since "Maraca" displays a new vision of the Latin music by merging tradition and modernity.