Ernesto “Gato” Gatell is one of the most recognized and beloved Cuban singers alive today. In 2013, the U.S. Government acknowledged him as a Musician of Extraordinary Ability at the very top of his field both nationally and internationally, thus allowing him to immigrate to the U.S. in 2014. His list of accomplishments over the past 30 years are far too vast to
enumerate, but he has recorded and toured with the biggest names in Afro-Cuban music – Clave y Guaguanco, Tata Guines, Changuito, Pancho Quinto, Rumberos de Cuba, Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, Puntilla, Hilario Duran, Jane Bunnett; and has been a member of several Cuban All-Star groups. His recordings have been nominated for and/or won the top music industry awards in three countries – the U.S. Grammy, the Canadian Juno, and the Cuban CubaDisco. Having mastered Afro-Cuban music, his current vision is to combine Afro-Cuban elements with other styles like Jazz, Funk, and World to create contemporary fusions. He also composes and plays percussion.
Yudisleidy Valdes was born and raised in Cuba, where she graduated as a dance teacher at Escuela Nacional de Arte Samuel Feijoo. From 2001 to 2006 she performed in 25 choreographies with Conjunto Folklorico Nacional (the leading folkloric ensemble in Cuba), including their European tours. From 2006 to 2014 she has performed with Los Rumberos de Cuba, of which her husband Ernesto was the founder and lead vocalist. In 2014 she and Ernesto moved to the Washington, DC area to share their passion for Cuban folkloric music and dance.