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César Ricardo

Born in the beautiful coastal town of Gibara in eastern Cuba, César Ricardo Caballero developed his passion for music in the quiet countryside where many nights were spent singing and playing guitar and clave with his father, grandfather and uncle.

César's early influences were the 'feeling' and ‘trovadores’ movements of the early 70's-80's. Great musicians from this period like Silvio Rodriguez and Pablo

Milanes forever changed the Cuban music scene.

César’s musical talents first began to attract attention as he made winning first prize in both the guitar and singing categories at music festival competitions a habit.

He took private instruction in music theory and harmony from the respected jazz pianist Orestes Escalona. He also studied classical and popular guitar with the great bassist Señor Antonio Cuence (known in Cuba as Tonito), who remains the director of several well known Cuban bands and is a member of the evaluation team of professional musicians in Holguin City. Under Tonito’s tutelage, César developed his own unique style and an ear for other styles, and he honed his talent for writing original compositions and scores. He gained admittance to the Holguin City Professional Music Acadamy, worked his way through, and successfully completed all required provincial examinations.

For nine years he played as a professional guitarist for thousands of tourists in bars and hotels around Cuba, notably the El Faro in Gibara and hotels Atlantico, Guardalavaca and Las Brisas in Holguin Province.

In 2006, César married a Canadian and moved to Ottawa. Since then, he has continued to write music, remained active as a singer and guitar player and attracted a host of very talented musical friends. Much sought after in the local musical community, he has made appearances at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Bluesfest, Tulip Festival, Gatineau Festival, Carnival of Cultures and the Ottawa Ex.

He has appeared frequently with Caridad Cruz in duets and larger groups. Three times the two have played together at the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage (twice as a duet), and a duet performance of theirs was broadcast on Rogers TV. A synergetic collaboration between the two stellar Cubans is ongoing.

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